Residents in Plantation neighborhood concerned with blue-green algae in waterways

PLANTATION, FLA. (WSVN) - Residents in one Plantation neighborhood are concerned after blue-green algae was discovered covering two canals.

Those living in the Plantation Isles community started noticing the discolored water back in July.

“It was frightening,” resident Jody Alu said. “It was frightening to come out and see that last week.”

A crew from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection was called in to investigate the blooms found in Plantation and across the state.

They found a common freshwater bacteria called microcystis aeruginosa. The bacteria is capable of forming harmful algae blooms.

Although there hasn’t been any foul smell or dead fish, signs were put up warning residents to avoid swimming in the water.

“Stay away from toxins,” a posted sign read.

One resident told 7News that they weren’t able to water their plants because their sprinkler systems are connected to the canals.

They said that watering them would also tempt their pets into playing in the grass, likely causing harm.

“It’s not fun when you live here, and you spend the kind of money that we spend to live here, and then we have all of this,” Alu said. “I truly don’t know what they can do about it.”

Dr. Jose Lopez, a professor at Nova Southeastern University, said he and his team are researching what leads up to a bloom and how to stop it.

“We are trying to figure out what triggers cyanobacteria, also known as blue green algae,” Lopez said.

While he has not visited the Plantation canals, his best advice is to stay away, no matter how minor the problem might seem.

“Don’t swim, don’t bring your pets to drink the water and just be careful,” Lopez said.

Plantation Isles isn’t the only area in Broward County experiencing the algae blooms, though they are the ones with the most significant effects.

“It just proves to me that there isn’t enough being done to try to mitigate whatever type of issues are happening that caused this type of algae,” said Juan Gallardo, who lives in the area. “It’s very, very dangerous.”

Algae blooms have also been reported across Florida.

The FDEP website notes that 107 cases were reported across the state in the last 30 days.

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