Health officials: Algal bloom in Pineview Reservoir makes swimming, water sports unsafe

The Health Department has confirmed the presence of a harmful algal bloom. Photo: Weber-Morgan Health Department

WEBER COUNTY, Utah, Sept. 1, 2018 (Gephardt Daily) — Heading into the long Labor Day weekend, the Weber-Morgan Health Department has issued a warning about the recreational use of the Pineview Reservoir after confirming a potentially harmful algal bloom.

The reservoir is not closed, but officials are warning that people, pets and other animals should avoid ingesting water or having contact with scum.

“The bloom has the potential to shift with the wind and temperatures so we are warning people exercise caution, heed the warning signs and stay away from areas of scum,” said Michela Harris, Environmental Health Director for the Weber-Morgan Health Department, in a prepared statement.

“Although blue-green algae are a natural part of many freshwater ecosystems, under the right conditions they can proliferate rapidly. High levels of nutrients in the water, combined with warm temperatures, abundant sunlight, and calm water, can promote growth, resulting in extensive blooms.”

The blooms consist of cyanobacteria (often referred to as blue-green algae), a type of bacteria that poses risks to humans, wildlife, domestic animals and fish. Symptoms of exposure include headache, fever, diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, and sometimes allergic-like reactions from skin contact.

Signs posted at the entrance and along the trails and beaches surrounding the lake
advise recreationalists:

• Do not swim or water ski in the area
• Avoid areas of algae scum when boating
• Keep animals away
• Do not ingest the water
• Clean fish well and discard guts

For concerns about possible human exposure, call the Utah Poison Control Center
at 800-222-1222.


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