'It's just letting people know if they see an algae bloom, don't swim'

EUGENE, Ore. -- Public Works posted signs listing the dangers of toxic algae as a precaution to swimmers in the Fern Ridge Reservoir, should there be an advisory issued later this summer.

County spokesperson Anne Marie Levis says the signs, posted before the Fourth of July weekend, are meant to educate swimmers, boaters and pet owners on how to spot and avoid the toxic blue-green algae.

"It's not a warning, it's not an advisory. It's just letting people know if they see an algae bloom, don't swim. If there's a health risk, we'll make a bigger deal of it," says Levis.

Public Works monitors waterways through the year. Levis says there were no algae-related advisories or warnings in effect for the Independence Day weekend.

Levis says the toxic algae blooms usually become a problem later in the summer. She asks that you stay out of the water and contact the county if you find an algae bloom in one of Lane County's lakes, streams, rivers, reservoirs or ponds.

"The size of Lane County is the same size as Connecticut, so being able to get out there every day to check on things is probably not something we can do," says Levis.