Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Our Blue-Green Algae Scare: Draining the Swamp

Even though it has been extremely dry this year, we managed to keep Cookie's frog ditch going. That made Cookie very happy. Every time we walk out of the house, she makes a beeline straight for it.

And then, a horrible thing happened.


Our Blue-Green Algae Scare: Draining the Swamp

The ditch had water in it the entire year and other than being muddy from the agitated clay, the water was good and clean. And then, suddenly, a day after we finally got some rain, it turned kind of green.



My heart sank.

Could it be the dreaded blue-green algae?


It looked nothing like the photos of blue-green algae mostly do and it didn't really fit the description. But the more I was reading, the less sure I was.

I took some photos and showed them to some of my veterinary friends. Nobody would say it is not blue-green algae. They didn't say it was, but they all agreed that it is best to play it safe.

I absolutely agree with playing it safe, but this is Cookie's playground!


Perhaps it was pollen that got washed into the water with the rain? We did have yellow-green dust on everything. Perhaps it was some perfectly harmless green stuff? But who'd want to take the chance?

I decided the best thing to do was to drain it, let it dry and then refill however sparse our access to water is. We were gone all day to see Cookie's PT, and I was going to drain it when we came back.

It was not deep enough to use a pump, nor a pump would empty all of the water. I went, armed with my trusty snow shovel. I get there, and the water looked the way it usually does. Just muddy, beige.

I returned to Google to see whether blue-green algae could disappear as quickly as it appeared.

It turns out that it can. The articles also said that the water was safe again 24 hours after the algae would be gone. I became hopeful.

In the morning I went to check on it. The green stuff had returned. I realized I had no choice than to drain it. We could have, of course, just Cookie away from it but it is her playground. We could have waited until it dries out but that would take forever. The only solution was to manually drain it to get it back to full function as soon as possible.


Once I started, I kept thinking how foolish I was and felt I can't possibly drain all the water from there. But I would never falter when doing something for my girly.

I drained the whole damn thing.



I posted my green water photos on justanswer.com as well. Just as I returned from draining the ditch, I got an answer. The expert believed that this was not blue-green algae, also mainly since it was full of frogs that didn't die.

Now you're telling me.


Just as well, though. I think I wouldn't be able to take even the slightest chance with Cookie's safety no matter. I would have drained it anyway but would feel bad at the thought that perhaps I didn't have to.

Cookie is broken-hearted at what happened to her ditch. And just when it got a whole bunch of fresh water. She doesn't understand what happened. Breaks my heart too.

But I did what I believe was the safest as well as the fastest way to restore her playground to her. So that's the kind of things I do for my girl.



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