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Water-Related News

UPDATE: Lake Alert for Lake Formosa Canal EXTENDED

On January 28, 2022 the Florida Department of Environmental Protection tested water samples from the canal connecting Lake Rowena to Lake Formosa and determined that potentially unsafe concentrations of toxins are present in the lake.

As a precaution, we are advising everyone to refrain from swimming, recreating and irrigating in/from Lake Formosa until further notice.

This canal will be resampled in late January, and an update will be provided at that time.

For reference, cyanobacteria/blue-green algae are always present in the water, however, not all bacteria have the ability to produce toxins. Toxicity is hard to predict because a single species of algae can have toxic and non-toxic strains. Nothing can be done to treat algae blooms without causing massive fish kills. Due to this, the city will work closely with Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) to closely monitor Lake Rowena. The city staff will continue to routinely test the lake, but the city's tests will only provide an update on the presence of cylindrospermopsin. The official toxin determination is obtained from FDEP's laboratory data, and until the levels are deemed safe by state standards, the Lake Alert will remain in effect.

Please encourage your neighbors to register for the Lake Alert at orlando.gov/lakealert so they too will get important information about Lake Formosa directly. In the meantime, as we stated above, the city would advise refraining from swimming, recreating and irrigating in/from the lake until further notice.


Original Lake Alert:

On December 16, 2021 the City of Orlando tested water samples from the canal connecting Lake Rowena to Lake Formosa and determined that potentially unsafe concentrations of toxins are present in the canal. As a precaution, we are advising everyone to refrain from swimming, recreating and irrigating in/from the Lake Formosa Canal until further notice. This canal will be resampled in late January, and an update will be provided at that time.

For reference, cyanobacteria/blue-green algae are always present in the water, however, not all bacteria have the ability to produce toxins. Toxicity is hard to predict because a single species of algae can have toxic and non-toxic strains. Nothing can be done to treat algae blooms without causing massive fish kills. Due to this, the city will work closely with Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) to closely monitor Lake Rowena. The city staff will continue to routinely test the lake, but the city's tests will only provide an update on the presence of toxins. The official toxin determination is obtained from FDEP's laboratory data, and until the levels are deemed safe by state standards, the Lake Alert will remain in effect.

Please encourage your neighbors to register for the Lake Alert at orlando.gov/lakealert so they too will get important information about Lake Formosa directly.

In the meantime, as we stated above, the city would advise refraining from swimming, recreating and irrigating in/from the lake until further notice.

Link for additional information:

If you should have additional questions, please email Lisa Lotti at lisa.lotti@cityoforlando.net.