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Officials say river algae is no threat

August 1, 2011

    What's that stuff in the St. Marys River?
    According to Decatur Fire Chief Les Marckel, who led the local investigation on Friday into a brownish-looking discoloration in the water at Pleasant Mills, the material is only algae that built up in area streams and ditches due to stagnation during a long dry spell, then got washed into the river by recent rain that fell in Ohio.
    Marckel said staff members at the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) and the Ohio Department of Environmental Management (ODEM) agreed that the algae is not a threat, not toxic, and has not harmed any fish.
    It is, Marckel said today "a natural occurrence" that has likely happened before during dry periods and will be eliminated when a good, steady rain arrives.
    He said he and Carla Marbaugh of the Adams County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) tracked evidence of the algae as far back as Rockford, Ohio,, as they drove around on Friday.
    Marckel also said the algae is definitely not the deadly stuff from Grand Lake St. Marys in Ohio that has caused so many problems in that large body of water for two years.
    The water discoloration was noticed on Friday by a Pleasant Mills resident, who reported itt to authorities quickly.
    Today, Marbaugh noted that there have so far been no reports of the algae in the Wabash River.

 

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