Stay Away from the Slime! Health Officials Warn of Blue-Green Algae in Waterways

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY -- Slimy, thick green goo a tiny turtle swam through on Wednesday is what’s known as blue-green algae bloom.

It’s smelly and unsightly.

If accidentally swallowed, it can cause rashes, runny noses, sore throats and can be deadly for dogs.

“If humans swallow a small amount of what we call the cyanobacteria by accident they can have an upset stomach,” said Lisa Media, a registered environmental health specialist with San Joaquin County.

Medina told FOX40 the algae bloom usually appears in stagnant waterways over the summer, such as the Stockton Marina and Buckley Cove.

The algae “will appear anywhere from green, to brown, to red, to foamy, to a mat looking,” Medina said.

If you come into contact with the algae, Medina said the first thing that you should do is wash off with clean, potable water.

While it’s easy to spot, algae bloom is not easy to treat. Medina said they cannot chemically get rid of it.

All they can do is wait for the cooler days of September to come.

Medina also recommends to not wash dishes with untreated water and to wash and remove the guts and liver from fish caught in waterways with blue-green algae bloom.