UPDATE: Orlando lifts alert for Lake Estelle
The Lake Alert for Lake Estelle has been lifted. Please resume all normal water activities associated with the lake.
On January 7, 2021 the City took water samples in Lake Estelle to determine the presence of microcystins (toxins) resulting from an algae bloom in the lake. It was determined that potentially unsafe concentrations of toxins are present in Lake Estelle. As a precaution, we are advising everyone to refrain from swimming, recreating and irrigating in/from Lake Estelle until further notice.
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. This instance is believed to have occurred due to the water in the lake "flipping." During the colder months, the warm surface water begins to cool. As water cools, it will become more dense, causing it to sink. This dense water forces the water of the bottom layer to rise, turning the layers over. The bottom layer tends to be very nutrient rich, then is exposed to sunlight at the surface level and causes an algae bloom to occur.
Nothing can be done to treat algae blooms without causing massive fish kills. Due to this, the City will continue to closely monitor and test the lake weekly until the levels are deemed safe by state standards.
Please encourage your neighbors to register for the Lake Alert at
orlando.gov/lakealert so they too will get important information about Lake Estelle directly.
In the meantime, as we stated above, the City would advise refraining from swimming, recreating and irrigating in/from the lake until further notice.