- Associated Press - Monday, October 6, 2014

CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) - Southern Illinois University is cautioning people and pets to avoid skin contact with water from the Carbondale campus’ lake because of naturally occurring toxic algae.

The university says human contact with the water can cause skin rashes and animals swimming in or drinking the water can become ill.

The algae deplete the water’s oxygen level and are the same algae that prompted the city of Carbondale to close Evergreen Reservoir and Piles Fork Creek in June.

The university has posted warning signs around the lake and says the algae will dissipate as temperatures cool and the water is naturally replaced.

Kevin Bame is the university’s vice chancellor for administration and finance. He says it’s unclear how long the lake will remain closed.

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