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Sunday, July 06, 2008

Beware the blobs at Orlando-area springs

Published July 5, 2008
Visitors hoping to chill out in a Florida spring this summer are likely to have a similar moment of revulsion. Many of the state's springs have been invaded by algae in recent years, an infestation that could prove nearly impossible to get rid of.

The algae, which comes in vivid-green, black and oozing varieties, could be giving swimmers rashes and other skin ailments. That's a possibility health authorities are trying to figure out. But it doesn't take a scientist to know the springs are suffering.

Jerry Brooks, the state's director of environmental restoration, said Florida is working to keep treated sewage from contaminating springs. But at least 80 percent of Florida springs that have been tested have elevated nutrients. "I think we are losing ground," Brooks said
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