ENVIRONMENT

Blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) found in Utah Lake

Aug 2, 2023, 4:00 AM

The shoreline of Utah Lake is pictured. The Utah Department of Environmental Quality has issued saf...

Toxins produced by cyanobacteria can cause kidney and liver damage, or neurological problems. (Utah Division of Water Quality)

(Utah Division of Water Quality)

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Department of Environmental Quality has issued safety advisories for several areas of Utah Lake after harmful algal blooms were found on the body of water. 

Visitors should not swim or water ski in Lincoln Beach, Provo Bay, American Fork Marina,  Lindon Marina, or any of the areas surrounding these spots.

Boaters should avoid areas of algae.  The DEQ advises against drinking the lake water. And pet owners should keep animals away from the water.

Knowing how to recognize the blue-green algae blooms can help visitors stay safe and healthy, said the Department of Environmental Quality. 

Other areas of Utah Lake are safe, according to the  Department of Environmental Quality website

Ingesting water or fish tainted with cyanobacteria

The substance discovered by officials is cyanobacteria, which is sometimes called blue-green or harmful algae. 

Cyanobacteria live naturally in every body of water, worldwide,, according to the Department of Environmental Quality. The bacteria only become harmful when they multiply quickly. The quick growth of colonies can sometimes produce toxins, said the Department of Environmental Quality.

Ingesting water that contains cyanobacteria can cause illness in humans, pets, and livestock. The toxins produced by cyanobacteria can cause kidney and liver damage, or neurological problems. 

If a visitor ingests water from the lake, contact Utah Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222. 

If visitors catch fish from the water, the Department of Environmental Quality said to clean them well and discard the guts. 

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Blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) found in Utah Lake