North Dakota Officials Warn of Green, Blue-green Scum

The Associated Press

North Dakota health officials are warning residents and ranchers to watch out for blue-green scum in livestock water supplies, lakes and other recreational waterways.

Officials say the algae blooms can have an offensive odor and appearance, but they also can harmful to livestock, pets and people. Not all algae blooms are toxic, and it's impossible to identify poisonous species without laboratory analysis.

State veterinarian Susan Keller says algae blooms are most common in North Dakota in late summer, but it only takes a few hot days to cause the organisms to become active and bloom.

Blue-green algae blooms can produce poisonous cyanotoxins. The toxins have no known antidotes.