‘That lake is screwed’: What to know about the bacteria threatening Lake Hopatcong

MICHAEL SOL WARREN / NJ.COM – New Jersey’s largest lake is all but closed, ravaged by an invasion of harmful bacteria.

It was all spurred on, state officials believe, by stormwater washing fertilizer and other nutrient-rich substances into Lake Hopatcong, where it combined with the warm water to create a natural petri dish.

The rise of the bacteria — rash-inducing cyanobacteria, also called blue-green algae — was marked last week with the closure of two beaches along the lakeshore. The algal bloom has since spread, with more than 30 reports of blooms in the water, spurring the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection to warn the public against any contact with the lake’s water …

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