Welcome to Duane Lake, New York

(last updated October 18, 2018)

.About this Web site

This Web site is offered by the Duane Lake Association as a service to the Duane Lake community.

Members are invited to submit items of interest to the Duane Lake community to the editor at DuaneLakeAssoc@gmail.com.

These could include essays, articles, and ideas on any subject of interest to the Duane Lake community, as well as photos, art work, and classified advertisements (free for members). Suggested topics: recent and coming events, nature, water quality, local politics.

The FALL 2018 issue of the Duane Lake Association newsletter is now posted!   Read it by finding DLA Newsletters, below.

BULLETIN--health warning updates
(note: this information is provided as a service to the Duane Lake community, but is not a substitute for a homeowner taking full responsibility for his/her own research and "due diligence." )

Sept. 24, 2018---September 15 sample shows more species of harmful blue-green algae in lake

 A second notice from the NY State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), this one dated September 19, informs us that two additional forms of harmful blue-green algae have been found in the waters of Duane Lake.

 Aphanizomenon, not detected in the August sample, was discovered in the September sample. It is capable of producing toxins, but the DEC notice does not say if any actual toxins were detected.  That test takes longer.

 The second previously undetected form of blue-green algae found is Ceratium.  While it, itself, does not produce toxins, it does reduce oxygen in the water and thus can cause large scale fish kills.  Certain kinds of Ceratium produce red tide, such as recently appeared on Florida beaches.

 The September sample also showed continued presence of Woronichinia.

Sept. 8, 2018--After much searching, the Duane Lake Association has at last located a laboratory that says it can detect the presence of the three forms of toxic blue-green algae that DEC says its designated lab discovered in the waters of Duane Lake---Woronchinia, Dolichospermum, and Anabaena.  Any Duane Lake resident concerned that residues of these or other species of toxic blue green algae might be present in their household water system can visit this Web site:  AssuredBio.com.  We are informed the test costs $50.

Sept. 5, 2018---Information has been received from the NY State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) that after a two-week "incubation period," no actual toxins were found in the water sample collected by a DEC employee. 

To summarize:  three forms of blue-green algae known to be producers of toxins were found, but no actual toxins were found.

This is not to say that no toxins were or are in the lake water; rather, none were found in the collected sample.

August 15, 2018---Information reaching the Duane Lake Association leads us to believe that neither the Schenectady County Department of Environmental Health, the NYS Department of Health, nor the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation intends to re-test the waters of Duane Lake periodically to determine that the blue-green algae problem has abated. 

Wednesday, August 15:  An e-mail from DEC in response to a question from the Duane Lake Association--

"Water samples are analyzed for the chlorophyll a concentration associated with cyanobacteria via fluoroprobe as well as a qualitative microscopy analysis. These two results are the primary basis for bloom designation when available. The microscopic analysis involves observing the sample under a microscope, and identifying the phytoplankton community composition, specifically the dominant species that are observed.The results from August 8 indicated the presence of Woronchinia, Dolichospermum, Anabaena as the dominant species observed in the sample. All three organisms are cyanobacteria."  So these three toxic cyanobacteria were not merely the object of an analysis (looked for), but were found.

August 13, 2018---The Duane Lake Association was notified today by the Schenectady County Department of Environmental Health that a “harmful algae bloom” had been found in Duane Lake. The Schenectady County Health Department was notified by DEC on August 10.

If you draw your household water from the lake, this bulletin pertains to you.

 While blue-green algae blooms are not unusual in Duane Lake from time to time, this particular algae bloom has been accompanied by a few informal reports of dog, cat, and human nausea and excretory issues. These might or might not be related to the algae bloom.

 Here is the complete report sent to the NYS Department of Health by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation and passed along to The Duane Lake Association. (An official of DEC took the water sample for testing.)

 “Results from DEC Region 4 sampling efforts on August 8 confirm the presence of a cyanobacteria HAB in Duane Lake (Schenectady Co.) based on blue-green chlorophyll a levels of 448.28 µg/L (above the DEC Confirmed Bloom threshold of 25 µg/L) and a microscopic analysis [see update #1 below for clarification] of Woronchinia, Dolichospermum, Anabaena. The size of the bloom according to the sampler is Not Reported.”

[Some explanatory notes from the Duane Lake Association:
1.  While it is true that not all cyanobacteria are toxic, according to this research paper, “Microcystis and Anabaena (Dolichospermum)”, apparently discovered in our water by DEC—"are among the most toxic cyanobacterial genera.”
2.  Woronchinia are known to produce toxins.
3.  The Duane Lake Association can confirm that it is lake-wide.]

The DEC report continues: “Toxin data are not yet available, but will be forwarded upon receipt if they indicate an elevated risk. Exposure to any cyanobacteria HABs can cause health effects in people and animals when water with blooms is touched, swallowed, or when airborne droplets are inhaled. This is true regardless of toxin levels; some blue-green algae produce toxins, while others do not. Exposure to blooms and toxins can cause symptoms such as diarrhea, nausea or vomiting; skin, eye or throat irritation and allergic reactions or breathing difficulties.  People and pets should avoid contact with blooms, and should rinse off with clean water if contact occurs.  For more information go to www.health.ny.gov/harmfulalgae.”

Duane Lake residents who draw their domestic water supply from the lake are invited to read a relevant fact sheet from the NY State Department of Health: Harmful Blue-green Algae Blooms: Understanding the Risks of Piping Surface Water into Your Home.

 Since many Duane Lake residents rely on water treatment systems installed and maintained by Culligan and other similar companies, an inquiry was made to Culligan as to their recommendation for treating household water systems to rid them of residual blue-green algae.

 Officials reached at the local Culligan office late this afternoon did not know the answer but have contacted Culligan International headquarters for guidance.

 It is also not known at this moment what steps DEC, the Schenectady County Health Department, or NY State Department of Health will take to monitor Duane Lake water quality and decide when the problem has subsided to a safe level.

 For now, the State Health Department says,

" • Never drink, prepare food, cook or make ice with untreated surface water. You may also consider not using it during a bloom for showering, bathing or washing, especially if your water looks cloudy.

  • Even if you have an in-home treatment system, use bottled water during a bloom. Don’t drink, prepare food, cook or make ice with surface water during a bloom. Boiling the water will not remove blue-green algae or their toxins.

 • Keep people and animals away from blooms in surface waters. Don’t swim, wade, boat, fish or eat fish caught from areas near blooms.

 • Consider visiting a health care provider if you, your family or animals are experiencing symptoms that might be related to blue-green algae exposure."

 The Duane Lake Association will share what it learns as it learns it.


(year indicates 3-year term ends in June) 

Alan Knight, President (ak55000@yahoo.com) 2021

Paul Korotkin, Vice President (pohk74@aol.com) 2019
Michaelynn McClenahan, Secretary (mikemcc213@aol.com) 2019

Norm Stewart, Treasurer (nrstewart2001@yahoo.com)  2021

Ward Freeman, Director (freeigan@hotmail.com)  2021

Nancy Weis, Director (naweis@hotmail.com)  2019

Chris Miller, Director (craabmiller@gmail.com)  2020

Mary Roberts, Director (mroberts28@gmail.com) 2020
Jay Tanzman, Director (jmt1043@@gmail.com)  2021