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Polk County lake could be contaminated with dyed diesel

Polk County health officials are warning people who live by Lake Martha or are visiting to use caution when they're around it.
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. — Dyed diesel from generator storage tanks at a hospital in Winter Haven could have contaminated a nearby lake. 

The Florida Department of Health in Polk County said discharge dyed
diesel from generators at Winter Haven Hospital could have impacted the water quality at Lake Martha. 

Health officials said until they know more about the contamination, people should be careful when they're around Lake Martha. Health experts said anyone who has contact with the water, especially before eating or drinking, should wash off thoroughly. 

Water contaminated by dyed diesel can cause skin and eye irritation, gastrointestinal issues, respiratory issues, and other conditions. 

The City of Winter Haven's Natural Resource Division is working with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to monitor and mitigate the situation. 

The health department said people who live on the lake and use lake water for irrigation should hold off on doing so for the next few days. 

Anyone with questions or concerns should call the Florida Department of Health - Polk County at 863-519-8330 or visit their website.


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