Why you still can’t swim in — or even touch — Summit Lake in Thurston County

An algae bloom is producing high levels of Anatoxin-a, which is a neurotoxin. Neurotoxins cause damage to the nervous system.

New tests show that toxin levels in Thurston County’s Summit Lake still are more than 100 times higher than acceptable limits.

As a result, nearby residents are being told to continue avoiding any contact with lake water, according to county officials. That includes no drinking, bathing in, swimming in, cooking with, doing laundry with or watering pets with lake water.

Filtering, boiling and other water-treatment methods don’t remove the toxins.

County officials received the most recent lab results Thursday, and they showed toxin levels as high as 114 micrograms per liter. Even 1 microgram per liter is considered a cause for health concerns. Test results are available online.

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An algae bloom is producing the high levels of Anatoxin-a, which is a neurotoxin. Neurotoxins cause damage to the nervous system.

The county reports that the water will be tested again May 30, with results made available June 2.

In the meantime, a water truck will be parked at the fire station at 2815 Lake Shore Road N.W. from 4 to 7 p.m. daily. Residents are asked to bring their own water containers to collect drinking water.

The Strong Center, a private gym at 2256 Mottman Road, is offering free showers to Summit Lake residents. Residents are asked to bring their own towels and call 360-705-1658 to make a shower appointment. Showers will not be available from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

The Summit Lake Community Association is working to form a water-quality team. To learn more, send an email to [email protected]

Thurston County Public Health has set up an information hotline that will be updated regularly at 360-709-3080. Or, contact Jane Mountjoy-Venning at 360-867-2643 with questions.

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