New York State Department of Health Recommends Do Not Drink: Blue-green Algae Toxin Detected in Village of Rushville Water Above Health Advisory Level

Albany, NY (October 11, 2018) - The New York State Department of Health recommends that all consumers served by the Village of Rushville’s Public Water Supply, including customers in the Middlesex Water District, use an alternate source of water for drinking, cooking, making infant formula, making ice, and preparing food and beverages until further notice. The water is acceptable for other household uses, such as bathing, washing hands, washing dishes, flushing toilets, and cleaning. Boiling water and in-home treatment will not remove the blue-green algae or their toxins.

Samples collected by the Village of Rushville Public Water Supply show a blue-green algae toxin called microcystin was detected in the drinking water delivered to consumers. Microcystin entered the supply due to blue-green algae blooms occurring in Canandaigua Lake, which is the source water for the Village of Rushville’s Public Water Supply.

Testing completed today returned results of 0.66 micrograms per liter of microcystin in finished water. This level is higher than the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 10-day Health Advisory level of 0.3 micrograms per liter of microcystins for bottle fed infants and children under 6 years old. For individuals not included in that group, the EPA’s health advisory level is 1.6 microgams per liter. However, out of an abundance of caution, the state is recommending to all consumers that they not consume water at this time. Confirmatory samples are being collected and tested at the Wadsworth Center, the NYSDOH’s public health laboratory.

The Village of Rushville’s Public Water Supply is working with the NYS Department of Health and Ontario and Yates counties to provide bottled water for residents while the advisory remains in effect. NYSDOH has provided 1,900 bottles of water this evening and the NYS Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services is delivering nine additional pallets this evening from their supply. Bottled water will be available for distribution at Rushville Hose Company, 14 Railroad Ave, Rushville, NY 14544 beginning at 6pm this evening. We will notify consumers immediately when the Health Advisory is discontinued and the water is suitable for all household uses.

Information about blue-green algae and related toxins can be found at

People and animals should always take steps to stay away from any blooms in surface waters because contact can make people and animals sick.

Residents with questions or concerns can call the following numbers for assistance; Ontario County (585) 396-4343, Yates County at (315) 536-5160, Village of Rushville (585) 554-3415. Additionally, the New York State Department of Health Geneva District Office can be reached at (315) 789-3030 or the NYSDOH’s Bureau of Water Supply Protection at (518) 402-7650.