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Residents Concerned as Algae Spreads Through Resaca

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BROWNSVILLE – A Brownsville resident is anxious for changes at the Rancho Viejo Resaca located behind her home.

Cynthia Cantu said she’s out on vacation for the summer break and was looking forward to spending more time on her resaca-front deck.

She said green algae surrounds her deck and can be seen throughout the water.

"This is not a sight that I would like to share with any of my friends. It's an eyesore,” she said.

Cantu said she’s lived at the same home for 15 years. She said she's never seen the resaca filled with so much algae.

"I used to be able to come out here and feed my catfish in the evening," she said. "I had some pretty good sized catfish out here, and there are no more catfish in the water."

CHANNEL 5 NEWS met with Cantu in December to talk about the same resaca.

At that time, she said the water was not flowing properly, which was making it a good breeding ground for mosquitoes.

She added things have gotten worse with the heat.

"I don't try to come out in the evening to my deck or anywhere outside because just like the commercial, there is a sheet of mosquitoes that will attack you instantly when you walk out the door," she said.

CHANNEL 5 NEWS reached out to Brownsville Irrigation District 1 Manager Arturo Cabello. He did not want to meet for an on-camera interview, but spoke to us over the phone.

Cabello blamed the blooming algae on the extreme heat. He said the water in the Rancho Viejo Resaca is used for irrigation and waters nearby farmers’ citrus and other crops.

He added the water can't be contaminated and there are very few chemicals that can be used to treat the algae. He said treating the water for mosquitoes is also not an option.

The irrigation district manager said they must wait until farmers aren't requesting irrigation water in order to be able to shut-off flow and treat the resaca for algae. 

He said that won't happen soon if it's a dry summer. 

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