TWIN FALLS — A public health advisory has been issued for two Magic Valley reservoirs found to have harmful algal blooms.
The South Central Public Health District and the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality issued the advisory Tuesday for Cedar Creek Reservoir in southwestern Twin Falls County and Thorn Creek Reservoir, at the border of Lincoln, Gooding and Camas counties.
Recent samples the Department of Environmental Quality took of water in those reservoirs show levels of a cyanotoxin, microcystin, are now at unhealthy levels because of a recent cyanobacteria harmful algal bloom in the reservoir.
The public is advised to take the following steps to protect their health:
- Avoid exposure to water in reservoirs under a harmful algal bloom health advisory. Make sure children, pets and livestock are not exposed to the water.
- Do not drink water with a harmful algal bloom advisory. Boiling and disinfecting DO NOT remove toxins from water.
- Do not allow pets to eat dried algae
- If fishing in harmful algal bloom water, remove all fat, skin, and organs before cooking. Toxins are more likely to collect in those tissues. Wash hands after handling.
“These toxins can cause neurological problems, gastrointestinal distress, and irritate areas of your body like your skin, eyes, and ears,” health district Public Health Program Manager Josh Jensen said in a statement. “It’s important that you keep family and pets away from the water where there is an active harmful algal bloom.”
Harmful algal bloom are not unusual in warm summer months and typically shrink quickly as the water temperature drops in mid to late fall. The Department of Environmental Quality asks all members of the public to call their regional office if they see a harmful algal bloom, so a team can take a sample of the water for testing. South Central Public Health will issue another press release when tests show these reservoirs are at safe cyanotoxin levels again.
More information is available at https://www.deq.idaho.gov/water-quality/surface-water/recreation-health-advisories/cyanobacteria-harmful-algal-blooms/
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