URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — Crystal Lake is being closed until further notice because of an algal bloom. It was first spotted Monday and samples were collected by the state EPA Tuesday.
While there’s no requirement for the park district to restrict access to the lake, leaders say they are doing so under an abundance of caution.
“We are taking a prudent approach with this to protect staff and public. We will closely monitor the situation and hope to reopen as soon as we can,” explained Urbana Park District Executive Director Tim Bartlett.
The district has already begun to address this issue and others related to water quality as part of its Crystal Lake Management and Rehabilitation Plan. When algae are present in such an amount they can produce toxins that dangerously sicken people and animals if ingested. Sensitive skin may be impacted with contact.
Preparation of the Crystal Lake Management Plan included evaluation of the lake’s nutrient levels.
Blooms such as these are further evidence of the level of decline of the lake’s water quality, explained Superintendent of Planning and Operations Derek Liebert.
“The Lake has a lot of input from the surrounding watershed area. It receives run off from lawns, pavement and parking lots. Whatever washes into the ground from the surrounding neighborhoods eventually makes its way into the lake,” Liebert explained.