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(credit: Minnesota Pollution Control Agency)

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — As temperatures soar into the 90s this week, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is reminding people to beware of toxic algae blooms.

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The MPCA said that the harmful blue-green algae blooms usually resemble pea soup or green paint, and often smell unpleasant.

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The agency said that people should avoid lakes and ponds that have these blooms, and to keep children and pets away. There have been some cases where exposure to the algae has led to the deaths of small animals and pets. Humans can also be sickened by the algae.

“High rainfall, which has been common throughout much of Minnesota this spring, results in nutrient-rich runoff entering our lakes, fueling algae growth,” the MPCA’s Steve Heiskary said. “While spring and early summer temperatures were cooler than normal, lake temperatures have warmed rapidly. Given these conditions, we are likely to see blue-green algae blooms on many of our lakes.”

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The agency said that once they appear in water sources, only a change of weather will eventually halt the algae’s growth.