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Toxic Lake In Camas’ Backyard

Warnings of what to avoid while swimming in the lake.

On a hot summer day in Camas, Lacamas Lake looks like the most inviting dip to cool off. But during any other season, the lake is a muddy black, a thick layer of algae blanketing the top. Anyone can agree that that is not a lake they would want to swim in. And that’s when the true question arises: is Lacamas Lake safe to swim in?

Every Monday Clark County Public Health checks the quality of Lacamas and Round Lake’s water, with posted results the next day. On October 22, an alarming result appeared in the samples: both Round and Lacamas Lake are contaminated with blue-green algae. Clark County Public Health advises for the lake water not to be drunk by any human or animal since the algae is extremely toxic. The Clark County Public Health warns everyone the symptoms that may come from drinking this water. “Ingesting water contaminated with fecal bacteria can cause fever, diarrhea, and vomiting.” The water is unsafe, and they don’t know how long until the algae is cured and the lake is toxic-free.

Warning signs posted in front of the closed docks of Lacamas Lake.

Students at Camas High School respond in alert about this shocking information. “I think they should be closing down the lake because of finding this algae. If it can harm people then it’s not ok.” Samantha Foot (senior) remarks from hearing this new. “It’s good to know that they put up a warning so that people are aware of the risks and dangers.” Eva Brizuela (senior) adds. “If I had known that I wouldn’t have just gone swimming in Round Lake.” Olivia Pearson (freshman) says with a nervous chuckle.

Nobody wants this algae to continue poisoning these cherished bodies of water. Public Works Operation Supervisor Denis Ryan, gives advice on how to keep the lake water clean. “The biggest thing we can do is ensure clean Stormwater runoff as it makes it way to the lake.” He explains, giving some examples on how this can be done. “This can be individuals cleaning up pet waste and lower use of fertilizers on lawns.”

Those who are interested in helping improve the lakes, visit the link embedded here. It’s a necessity for the Camas community to keep these wonderful lakes safe and clean. It would be dreadful for Round and Lacamas Lake to still be infected when the sun begins to come out again. With everyone’s help, next time it’s a hot summer day the lakes will be glimmering in the reflection of the sun, and people can enjoy the cooling embrace of the water once more.

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