Lake Alert for Lake Sue

May 26, 2022

UPDATED Information- A Lake Alert for Lake Sue was issued on March 4, 2022, due to a potentially unsafe concentration of toxins present in the lake. City of Orlando Stormwater staff have been continuously working with Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Orange County, and City of Winter Park since the Lake Alert was issued. This message is to provide an update on the status of the lake.

The results from the latest sampling event performed by Florida Department of Environmental staff on May 12, 2022, which can be found here: floridadep.gov/AlgalBloom indicate there are no toxins present in the lake at this time. However, out of a preponderance of caution, the City is electing to keep the Lake Alert in effect to ensure the bloom subsides and the lake does not produce additional toxins. Lake Sue will continue to be closely monitored by City of Orlando, FDEP, Orange County, and City of Winter Park staff. The Lake was sampled again on May 26, 2022, and, once we receive the results, the City of Orlando will provide another update.

At this time, the Lake Alert remains in effect until further notice. Please continue to call the Lake Alert number, 407.246.2220, for the most up-to-date information regarding your lake. During weekdays, the City's Lake Alert website, orlando.gov/lakealert will also have the latest information.

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On February 24, 2022, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) tested water samples from Lake Sue and determined that potentially unsafe concentrations of toxins are present in the lake. Lake Sue is comprised of homeowners within Orange County, City of Winter Park, and City of Orlando jurisdictional boundaries. In this effort, all entities are advising citizens to refrain from swimming, recreating and irrigating in/ from Lake Sue until further notice.

Collectively, the community can make a positive impact on our water quality in the lakes. Stormwater collects pollutants before flowing into our lakes. Here are some things you can do to help: fertilizing properly, bagging yard waste, picking up your pets' waste, maintaining your septic system, and checking your vehicle for leaks.

Specifically for Lake Sue, the City of Orlando continues efforts to help minimize the negative impacts on the lake by street sweeping, collecting and analyzing water samples, and educating the public. The City of Winter Park surveys the lake, collects monthly water samples, and manages invasive aquatic vegetation. Orange County also performs street sweeping and analyzes the collected water samples from the City of Winter Park for nutrient chemistry, water clarity, bacteria, and field readings.

For reference, cyanobacteria/blue-green algae are always present in the water, however, not all bacteria have the ability to produce toxins. Toxicity is hard to predict because a single species of algae can have toxic and non-toxic strains. Nothing can be done to treat algae blooms without causing massive fish kills. In the coming weeks, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) will continue to sample Lake Sue. When additional information is received on the status of the lake from FDEP’s Algal Bloom Dashboard (floridadep.gov/AlgalBloom), all alerts will be updated.

Please encourage your neighbors to register for the City of Orlando Lake Alert at orlando.gov/lakealert and Orange County alerts at ocfl.net/alerts so they, too, will obtain important information about Lake Sue directly.

In the meantime, as stated above, the city and county would advise to refrain from swimming, recreating, and irrigating in/from the lake until further notice.

We have attached a link for additional information:

http://www.floridahealth.gov/environmental-health/aquatic-toxins/harmful-algae-blooms/index.html

For additional questions, please contact your jurisdiction’s liaison:

City of Orlando: lisa.lotti@orlando.gov

City of Winter Park: geby@cityofwinterpark.org

Orange County: melissa.lavigne@ocfl.net

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