Lake Hopatcong remains unsafe for swimming as summer continues

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Lake Hopatcong – one of New Jersey’s largest lakes and tourist attractions – has been unsafe for swimming for a 12th day in a row this summer.

State officials have warned against swimming in or even touching the water due to a dangerous algae bloom that could cause health issues for people.

This means that hardly anyone is coming to the lake, a situation that has a negative impact on those who make a living nearby - people like Tim Hoit, who owns the snack bar near the lake.

RELATED: Officials: Lake Hopatcong remains unsafe for swimmers due to algae bloom 
RELATED: Environmental officials warn to stay out of Lake Hopatcong due to algae bloom 

“We’ve had algae in the past, but it’s only been for a couple of days. This one here is extended and it’s a killer,” he says.

New Jersey has a reputation for bodies of water that are too dangerous to swim in due to algae or pollution. Over the years things like lawn fertilizer, road pavement and goose dung have seeped into the water, creating the perfect place for algae blooms to form.

When News 12’s Brian Donohue went to visit the lake Tuesday, the only person he found on the beach was sunbather Frances Velarde, of Roxbury. She says that New Jersey residents need to be held accountable for some of their carelessness.

“People don’t get it. When you are fertilizing your lawn, putting all that crap chemicals on your lawn, you’re washing your vehicle in the driveway with all those chemicals…that all has to go somewhere,” he says. “We need to stop dumping that stuff in our sewers.”

Scientists with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection were at the lake Tuesday to take more water samples. It will take a few days of testing to determine if the water is safe for swimming once again.

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