The Town of Canandaigua's School House Beach on West Lake Road is closed until further notice

CANANDAIGUA — The appearance of what Town of Canandaigua officials say may be a blue-green algae bloom prompted the closing of the West Lake Road School House Beach on Friday.

The beach will remain closed until further notice. That means no swimming or wading at the park, which is near the West Lake Road and Butler Road intersection.

The state Department of Health will be working closely with town officials to monitor the situation.

Blue-green algae occurs naturally in freshwater lakes, ponds, and surface waters. A combination of factors allows the algae to grow into blooms that can be harmful to human and animal health and degrade water quality.

Here’s what to look for, according to the Canandaigua Lake Watershed Association.

Harmful algal blooms, or HABs, can appear like pea soup, spilled paint, globs, and parallel surface streaks. The color is typically blue-green to green to yellow, but can also be brown, red or purple.

HABs can pose health risks to humans and animals through drinking water and recreational water exposure.

Blooms can appear quickly in the lake when the conditions are just right. The toxins produced by the blooms, called cyanobacteria, can move up and down the water column, and can be pushed by wave and wind action.

If a bloom is present, DEC officials say to avoid it. But for those who do come into contact with HABs, rinse with clean water.

Also, consider medical attention if symptoms of nausea, vomiting or diarrhea; skin, eye or throat irritation; allergic reactions or breathing difficulties are present.