Thick green algae has turned up in canals in the Las Olas Isles area of Fort Lauderdale, generating concern among residents and prompting the city to promise tests.
City officials on Friday said the algae blooms were likely caused by rain or pollen. But they said testing would not be possible until Tuesday.
Behind her house on Southwest Ninth Street, Liana Silsby watched the canal turn bright green over the past week.
Dead animals are in the water, she said, including a fish, a rat, a frog and an iguana. She was concerned about the duckling families that use the waterways.
Silsby said she’s lived there for many years and has hardly ever seen algae in the canal, and “definitely not that thick or bright green.”
“I keep waiting for it to get better,” she said in an email. “It is getting worse.”
Tim Bascombe also said he noticed algae in the water and wanted to know what had caused it.
Jennifer Jurado, Broward County’s chief climate resilience officer, said in an email that she has contacted the county’s laboratory and that they can run a quick assessment.
“If this condition has been present throughout the week, chances are we will still see the signal on Tuesday,” she said.
Fort Lauderdale City Manager Lee Feldman took to Twitter to address suspicions that raw sewage in the waterway caused the algal bloom. Recent rains are more likely the cause, and there have also been reports of similar algal bloom in western canals, he said.
Raw sewage hasn’t flowed into the western canals where there have been similar algae blooms, and officials say that’s an indication that sewage issues aren’t causing the algae.
“Recent rains are more likely culprit,” Feldman said.
Chaz Adams, the city’s spokesman, also posted on the NextDoor app urging residents and visitors to avoid algae blooms when using local waterways.
“People and pets should never swim in water with algae blooms,” he wrote.
He urged those who see blooms to report them to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection at 855-305-3903 or online at reportalgalbloom.com.
Adams included a link to more health and safety tips on the city’s website, which also lists steps residents can take to help prevent algae by reducing stormwater runoff.
email@example.com, 561-243-6648 or Twitter: @BaitingerBrooke