OUTDOORS + RECREATION

Potentially toxic algal bloom detected at Utah Lake

Jul 3, 2024, 8:00 PM | Updated: 8:46 pm

Algal blooms are pictured in Utah Lake at the Lindon Marina in Vineyard on Monday, July 19, 2021. (...

Algal blooms are pictured in Utah Lake at the Lindon Marina in Vineyard on Monday, July 19, 2021. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

(Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

SARATOGA SPRINGS, Utah — Concerns over algal blooms are mounting as lakes and reservoirs across the state, including Utah Lake, are experiencing the rapid growth of harmful algae.

The Utah Department of Environmental Quality has issued algal bloom warnings for Provo Bay, Lincoln Beach, American Fork Beach, and Saratoga Springs Marina.

The harmful blooms have everything to do with the trappings of summertime said Mike Pelz, vice president of BlueGreen Water Technologies, a company that collaborates with the DEQ on natural preventative solutions.

“In the summertime, there’s quite a bit more sunlight. Combine that with temperature and it’s a perfect scenario for these bacteria, which are also called blue-green algae, to start multiplying very very fast into what we call a bloom.” Pelz said.

Utah officials warn against drinking water contaminated by algal bloom

Authorities strongly caution against drinking the water. They advise thorough cleaning of fish before consumption, along with keeping pets out of the water.

The first sign you may see is that the water just doesn’t look right.

“That’s going to be any sort of green, bluish-green sheen on the water,” Pelz said. “Anything that looks like green muck, or just discoloration.

“In other words, if it doesn’t look right, it probably isn’t right.”

The current warning level presents health risks to swimmers and pets. But fishing and boating on Utah Lake are still permitted.

Saratoga Springs officials have alerted residents that algae in the water may produce dangerous toxins impacting both humans and animals.

If you see a possible bloom, they ask that you report it to the DEQ. 

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Potentially toxic algal bloom detected at Utah Lake