Could Hurricane Dorian help get rid of toxic blue-green algae in Augusta's ponds and lakes?

Friday, August 30, 2019
News 12 at 11 o'clock

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- When Nicole Williams brought her dogs to Lake Olmstead today, she had no idea what was lurking in the water.

"I got really nervous. I was told the dogs would get sick, so now I've got to take them to the vet," Nicole Williams said. "We come down here daily and I just found out and they drink the water so I'm going to take them to the vet to make sure they're okay."

The blue-green algae is deadly to pets and harmful to humans. It's been in the lake for weeks.

"This is potentially harmful stuff," Truck Carlson with the Savannah Riverkeeper said. "It can be very, very detrimental to animals, especially dogs. There's no good reason to get in the water at this point."

Truck Carlson is with the Savannah Riverkeeper. With water temperatures more than 80 degrees, he says, it's not going anywhere... unless a hurricane hits.

"I don't hope for destruction, I don't hope for the high winds. I do hope for the heavy rains," Carlson said.

As Hurricane Dorian grows in the Atlantic, Truck says the rain could be just what we need to get rid of the toxic algae.

"There's a saying in our world, dilution is a solution," Carlson said. "So, the more water that does not carry those contaminants, the better to break down the food source and hopefully have a negative impact on the algae as well as the lower temperatures."

Truck says we need multiple days of intense rain to cool the lake and kill the algae. On the flip side, they say just a little rain will cause storm water runoff, which could actually feed the algae and make things worse.

They'll be watching the storm track and testing the water to see if Hurricane Dorian makes a difference.