Grayson County Judge Drue Bynum will address the media at a news conference on Wednesday, February 1, at 10 a.m. at the Grayson County Courthouse in the east courtroom located on the second floor. He is scheduled to provide recent test results on the decline in levels of blue-green algae in Lake Texoma.
Joining Bynum will be John Teel, Grayson County Health Department Director, and others who will deliver brief remarks and respond to questions.
“We want to share some good news with the public,” Bynum said. “We’ve enjoyed some significant rainfall which has raised the water level at Lake Texoma. Blue-green algae levels have significantly improved and Lake Texoma is open for business!”
Despite higher than normal indications of blue-green algae cell counts last summer, the latest data from January 11th indicated improvement in several reporting stations and no stations reported areas that would prohibit water contact.
The Grayson County Health Department reported no incidences of anyone becoming ill from exposure to Lake Texoma water even when the algae levels were at their highest; data that prompted advisories from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. “We believe the lake is safe for water activities, fishing is great, marinas and businesses are open,” Bynum continued.
According to Bynum, some people became overly alarmed by the media reports. He said that even members of the scientific community often agree that the data can be
subjective and that there are no readily available clear definitions of what the advisories mean for the public.
“The fact is, the sky is not falling!” Bynum said.
According to a fact sheet distributed by the Lake Texoma Association, blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) is a naturally occurring algae that thrives in waters with little inflow and high temperatures, such as Lake Texoma experienced last summer. The information also states that the organism is a natural part of a water-based eco-system found in almost every aquatic habitat on earth.
Business owners around the lake are eager to welcome visitors back to Lake Texoma. The economic impact from last summer’s media focus on the presence of blue-green algae was significant after some people elected to postpone their lake vacation plans.
“The Grayson County Health Department desires to provide Lake Texoma patrons with the latest scientifically valid information,” said John Teel, Grayson County Health Department Director. “We believe that at current levels, any health risk from contact with Lake Texoma water is low to very low, but worthy of long-term monitoring.”
The public is invited to attend the news conference. For more information on Lake Texoma conditions visit the Corps of Engineers website at www.swt.usace.army.mil/ or the news conference, call Marsha Coleman at 903-462-7803 or Michael Tucker at 405-831-5866.