Parents were forced to pick up their children at Lourdes Camp on Skaneateles Lake after algae bloom made the camp's water unsafe to swim in or drink on Monday.

State officials say the water at Lourdes Camp is safe to drink and swim in, contrary to what the operators of the summer camp told parents earlier on Monday.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the Department of Health said in a joint statement Monday night that testing conducted by the city of Syracuse, including microscopic analysis of  an algae bloom near Lourdes Camp on the lake's eastern shore found no toxins, or microcystin, and confirmed that the algae are not harmful.

"DEC, DOH, the (Onondaga) County Health Department and the city will continue to monitor the area and the entire lake to ensure the public and the environment are protected," the statement said. "It is our understanding that the decision to close the camp was made by the camp out of an abundance of caution."

DEC spokeswoman Erica Ringewald said she could not explain why camp officials told parents that the water was unsafe.

An old case of when in doubt err on the side of caution.


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