GUTHRIE, Okla. (KFOR) – City of Guthrie officials are temporarily halting water activities at Liberty Lake.
The action was taken after the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) detected high counts of blue-green algae in the lake.
Activities such as swimming and watercraft use that require an individual to go into the water have been halted.
Signs have been placed around the lake to warn community members against going into the water.
The following water activities are temporarily prohibited at the lake:
- Swimming/wading by humans or animals
- Tubing/water skiing/wakeboarding
- Watercraft use which requires the rider/operator to enter the water or has a reasonably high probability of such occurring
Community members are allowed to continue fishing in the lake from banks or watercraft, but cannot enter the water.
Guthrie officials said the city’s drinking water is not affected by the high algae content and is safe to drink.
“All of our other water resources, including the raw water at the plant, are not effected by the high Blue Green Algae counts, and the City is currently pulling its drinking water supply from Guthrie Lake, and has been doing so well before the notification from DEQ,” officials said.
DEQ officials advised city officials that Liberty Lake’s algae problem will run its course as the algae uses up its fuel supply of phosphates (fertilizers, etc.) in the water.
“They recommend no swimming at Liberty Lake for the time being, as well as keeping pets out of the water,” city officials said.
DEQ officials attribute the high amount of blue algae to the timing of the rains, run off from surrounding fields and natural spring algae bloom.
“The timing of all of these factors has washed high amounts of phosphates into the lake, resulting in the algae bloom,” city officials said.