“It’s been discovered on four of the five ponds on the course, but none in the irrigation pond. We want the public to know that the course is totally safe to play,” said Mark Hoffhines, assistant manager of Shawnee State Park.
Shawnee State Park was one of three Ohio state parks where fear of toxic algae spread this week. Ohio Department of Natural Resources officials have issued warnings about a potential toxic that can be released into the water once the algae dies. The toxin can make people who come in contact with the water ill.
The department early this past week posted a sign on a pond off No. 3 fairway stating that a bloom of blue-green algae was found on the pond this past week. The sign said people should avoid contact with surface scum and limit their contact with lake water while the situation was being investigated.
It was placed chiefly to warn golfers not to retrieve balls hit into the pond.
Hoffhines said samples of the water in the pond, as well as three other ponds where algae was found on about 5 percent of the surface, were sent to Beechwood Laboratory, an independent company providing both chemical and microbiological testing on foods and water.
“We’re taking every precaution possible since state officials became concerned about algae on lakes at several state parks ,” Hoffhines said.
In addition to the freshwater pond the golf course draws its irrigation water from, he said neither the park’s Turkey Creek Lake nor Lake Roosevelt are affected by algae.
State health officials are investigating reports of more than a dozen people coming down with illnesses that might be linked to northwest Ohio’s Grand Lake St. Mary, where concerns for the toxins left by dying blue-green algae has prompted a warning for people not to touch the water, take boats out on it, or eat any fish coming from it.
G. SAM PIATT can be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 236.