Lake Lawtonka is safe for recreational users heading into the final vacation weekend of summer 2012, City of Lawton officials said Friday.
While an Oklahoma Travel and Tourism website notes the presence of blue green algae in Lawtonka following a test conducted in early August, it does not show that the second phase of testing failed to detect toxicity at a level dangerous enough to mandate posting of the lake, said Assistant City Manager Bryan Long.
Afsanah Jabbar, director of water for the City of Lawton's Public Works Department, said water officials test Lawtonka's water intake structure at least once a month for higher-than-normal levels of blue green algae "for drinking water purposes," and the count taken on Aug. 1 revealed more than 200,000 cells per milliliter of water. As a follow-up, the city tested Lawtonka's water for toxicity and found the toxicity level was less than mandated levels.
Blue green algae occurs naturally in all raw water sources and those who control lakes in Oklahoma are bound by World Health Organization criteria that requires advisories when testing indicates more than 100,000 cells per milliliter of water. Toxicity is considered in the dangerous level when testing finds 20 micrograms of microsystin (the toxin in blue green algae) per liter.