On Wednesday, August 21, the Appling County Board of Commissioners were notified of an algae concern on Lake Mayers. A water sample was taken by Shane Curry, Extension Agent with the local Cooperative Extension Office. He supplied the water sample to Dr. Gary Burtle, Aquatic Specialist with the University of Georgia, and he concluded that the algae is predominantly Microcystis.
Microcystis can produce toxins. Typically, these toxins would need to be ingested for a toxic reaction. Curry has indicated that the most likely cause of the algae bloom is a high level of phosphorus fertilizer runoff into the lake. Lawn fertilizer and septic systems can contribute to the phosphorus fertilizer level. To reduce the expansion of the algae, the county needs to limit the amount of phosphorus that is running into the lake. Residents are being asked to use low phosphorus level fertilizers such as, 14-4-14 or 15-0-15.
Due to the current situation, Lake Mayers will be closed until further notice. County officials will continue to monitor the lake over the next few weeks. If you should have questions, please contact Shane Curry at (912) 367-8130 or County Manager Lee Lewis at (912) 367-8100.