The Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department and the City of Wheeling is advising residents to use caution after recent water testing reveals blue-green algae in the Ohio River.
Officials conducted testing on Wednesday, August 19th, at the Pike Island Lock and Dam on the Ohio River. Tests confirmed elevated levels of blue-green algae, which can cause health problems such as skin irritation, eye irritation or intestinal illnesses at high concentrations.
The health department and water treatment plant is urging residents to use caution when swimming, boating, fishing, or doing other recreational water activities in the Ohio River this weekend.
Public drinking water supplied from the Wheeling Water Department, including Ohio County Public Service District, is being closely monitored.
“People can be exposed to the blue-green algae in two ways—either by contact with the skin or by swallowing it,” said Howard Gamble, MPH, with the Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department. “The basic message for this weekend is, if you see blue-green algae floating in the river, avoid swimming, jet skiing or any other water activity where you might come into contact with it.”