Saturday, August 20, 2011

Possible toxic algae found at Dworshak Reservoir, Idaho - 19th Aug 2011

The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality has issued a warning advising people to avoid drinking water from or swimming in two areas of Dworshak Reservoir where high levels of blue-green algae have been detected.

The algae can produce a toxin that is harmful to people, pets and livestock. Toxins have not been detected at the reservoir but levels of the algae at Bruce’s Eddy and Big Eddy are high enough to be concerned, said John Cardwell of the DEQ at Lewiston.

He said scientists can’t say if the algae will produce toxins and people should avoid swimming in or drinking from areas with visible algae concentrations. But he said most of the 55-mile-long reservoir is free of the algae and safe for visitors.

Blue-green algae is a naturally occurring bacterial that can produce problems at high concentrations. It can appear as surface scum or pea-soup blooms. The algae has appeared at the reservoir in the past. Source