Toxic algae already blooming in Summit Lake

Summit Lake is once again dealing with a toxic algae bloom.  That means you can't use water from the lake, even if you boil or filter it first.  That could be a problem around Summit Lake, because so many people use the lake as their main water source.  Thurston County Public Health says it's not safe to use the water for anything, or eat fish caught in the lake, until the algae bloom is gone.

In fact, health officials say you shouldn't even let your pets touch the lake water -  much less drink it.

Blue-green algae is also known as cyanobacteria.  It can produce toxins that will make adults sick, or paralyze children and pets.  In the most serious cases, contact with the algae can be deadly.

Toxic algae blooms usually happen a little later in the spring and summer, when warmer temperatures and longer daylight hours give the organisms everything they need to grow.

Officials say toxic algae blooms are becoming more common in Washington lakes, but they're not sure why.