WINONA LAKE – Lilly Center for Lakes & Streams is offering to email regular updates on water quality in Kosciusko County.
From June to August, generously funded by the K21 Health Foundation, the Lilly Center research team will conduct sampling on 14 lakes and seven beaches throughout Kosciusko County. Water samples will be processed for microcystin, a toxin produced by blue-green algae, in the Lilly Center’s lab.
Anyone wanting to regular updates can do so by registering here.
“When ingested or left on your skin for too long, microcystin becomes a health concern for those living on or visiting the lakes,” said Jed Harvey, research technician at the Lilly Center. “It’s known to cause issues for dogs and other pets. It can also have negative effects on humans, including liver damage.” Harvey will oversee water sample testing to ensure the results’ accuracy.
In 2020, there was a drop in microcystin in the 14 local lakes that the Lilly Center samples.
The average of all microcystin samples taken in 2020 was almost half of 2018 and 2019’s averages. Although great news, this change is not yet a positive trend. “The Lilly Center will continue researching to determine what led to this sudden dip,” said Dr. Nate Bosch, director of the Lilly Center. “And if it will stay that way in 2021 and beyond. We’ll also help determine how county residents might permanently reduce toxin levels in the future.”