(Mirror Daily, United States) – Based on the reports from the Utah Department of Environmental Quality, the access to lower Little Cottonwood Creek and Jordan River has been limited because some water samples were tested positive for toxic blue-green algae by health officials.
According to Donna Spangler, DEQ spokeswoman, the toxic blue-green algae has spread throughout 90 percent of the Utah Lake, so authorities had to close it for the time being.
The bloom might last even a couple of weeks more as well as the toxins in it. The Salt Lake County Health Department has issued a warning that Jordan River and all canals related to it are most likely dangerous for county residents and animals.
Farmers are strongly recommended by the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food to avoid using lake water for livestock watering, and food production, including vegetables or fruits.
Anglers should refrain themselves from fishing or eating fish caught after July 10th as it can be contaminated by the toxic blue-green algae. Also, pet owners must prevent their pets from swimming into this water because they are most likely to die.
Dogs generally swallow significant amounts of water when they swim so they might ingest the toxic algae as well. The algal bloom is produced by the dangerous cyanobacteria, a toxin that can cause neurological and liver damage.
Health officials have found this toxin in Utah Lake on July 13 after some samples were tested positive. People who are exposed to the algae might experience symptoms such as skin rashes, headaches, and vomiting.
Besides dogs, we also tend to swallow some water when we swim, so ingesting the dangerous algae might lead to severe consequences on our health as well. Residents who experience symptoms are asked to contact their physician or to call the Utah Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222.
These toxic blue-green algae are caused by high levels of phosphorus in the water originating from runoff and fertilizer brought by heavy rains into lakes and rivers. When the algae start blooming, the cyanobacteria consume high levels of oxygen creating dead zones where fish and other water creatures are unable to survive.
Worse, many other important species, such as manatees, were found dead after they confused their primary food source with the toxic algae. Even seabirds can die after they eat fish living in the contaminated water. That is why people must be aware of the danger and do their best to avoid contact with the algal bloom.
Image Source:Environment Reports