Lake Whelchel to close temporarily for algae treatment

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CHEROKEE Co., S.C. (WSPA) — An Upstate lake will temporarily close to the public for treatment of algae.

The Gaffney Board of Public Works said in a Facebook post that “an unusually large concentration of blue-green algae” was found at Lake Whelchel during recent tests.

Lyngbya was also detected. “Lyngbya is an aggressive, large-celled, filamentous, mat forming algae. Lyngbya cells can be transferred from one water body to another by boat hulls and bilge water, and by some animal species such as geese,” according to Gaffney Public Works’ website.

Lake Whelchel is expected to close about three weeks starting July 29.

Officials said the water is being treated to maintain normal taste and odor, while a company has been contracted to treat and remove the algae. 

The lake will reopen to the public after the algae is eliminated. 

Gaffney Public Works stressed the water is safe to drink.

Water officials have also consulted with Clemson University “in an effort to protect our primary water source.”

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