‘Health Watch’ issued for Deer Creek Reservoir due to potentially harmful algae

Deer Creek Reservoir. Photo Courtesy: Wasatch County Health Department

WASATCH COUNTY, Utah, Sept. 3, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — Officials have issued a “Health Watch” for Deer Creek Reservoir due to the presence of potentially harmful algae.

“Samples were collected and officials are awaiting test results,” said a Facebook post from Wasatch County Health Department. “Deer Creek remains open. Those recreating are advised to not swim, water ski, or boat in areas of scum. Algae occurs naturally in water bodies, occasionally, large accumulations of cyanobacteria can result in the formation of a potentially harmful algal bloom.”

Harmful algal blooms occur when stagnant, nutrient-rich water warms up in the summer and becomes the ideal breeding ground for cyanobacteria — commonly known as blue-green algae. Under these circumstances, the bacteria can reproduce quickly, overwhelm the waterbody and in some cases produce skin, liver and nervous system toxins.

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 more information on harmful algal blooms in Utah, go to habs.utah.gov


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