AVON, N.Y. (WROC) — As summer blooms in Western New York, so are harmful forms of algae in area lakes and ponds.

According to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s website, harmful algae blooms, or HABs, have been reported in six lakes, ponds, and marshes as of Friday.

According to Brian Duffy, the Section Chief for the Lake Monitoring and Assessment for the DEC, most HABs occur as a result of nutrient overloads. These are commonly caused by the sediment at the bottom of the ponds becoming agitated and releasing trapped pockets of nitrates and phosphorous, or from residential and commercial stormwater runoff that is full of fertilizer.

One of the issues the DEC is concerned about is the increase in heavy rain events leading to higher amounts of runoff.

“The extreme rain events in runoff events that cause and contribute to nutrient loading of our waterways and [are] the primary cause of algae bloom,” said Duffy.

On a more local scale, issues surrounding HABs are being monitored closely. In Livingston County, the health of Conesus Lake is one of their top priorities, as the lake provides drinking water to 20,000 residents within the county.

“One of our primary goals or objectives is protecting Canesus Lake and really we feel like we’ve developed a really great network around the lake that people know what to look for. They know how to look for these harmful algal blooms and then report them to us,” said Mark Grove of the Livingston County Health Department.

Grove further said it’s important to raise awareness of the issues HABs bring to the communities they impact. The more the public is involved, the more they can work to protect the health of these communities.

To find a complete list of active Harmful Algae Blooms you can access the interactive map from the NYS DEC here, and to report a suspected HAB you can fill out this form or email the DEC directly at HABsInfo@dec.ny.gov.