last update: October 5, 2019

There have been beach closures on Keuka Lake this summer due to harmful algal blooms. These harmful algal blooms have the potential to contain a cyanobacteria (commonly referred to as blue-green algae) known as Microcystis. The cyanobacteria may produce microcystin, a liver toxin. The ability to produce toxins results in calling these a harmful algal bloom.

At the request of the Geneva District Office of the New York State Department of Health, the Penn Yan Village Water treatment plant has been monitoring for the presence of microcystin in raw and finish water at the plant. The raw water samples show levels of the toxin from 0.4 ug/l (parts per billion) to 2.19 ug/l (ppb). No microcystin toxin has been detected in Penn Yan Village’s finished (treated) water.

In order to protect public health, for both the Village and the surrounding communities that purchase Village water, Penn Yan Village water treatment plant operators have taken steps to optimize treatment at the plant. These actions include increasing the level of disinfectant (chlorine residual), reducing plant production to allow more time in contact with the granular activated carbon which removes contaminants and adjusting flow out of the Lake as authorized by the Keuka Lake Outlet Committee (KLOC) to move water past the water plant intake. All these actions have led to a reduction of microcystin levels at the raw water intake.

The Village of Penn Yan Water Plant is working closely with the New York State Department of Health and other agencies to address the situation and insure no contaminants enter the finish water produced by the treatment plant.

Thomas Schwartz
Deputy Director Public Works
Village of Penn Yan/Penn Yan Municipal
111 Elm St PO Box 426
Penn Yan, NY 14527
(315) 279-6536”

To Preserve and Protect Keuka Lake