Utah Lake on ‘warning’ level over harmful algal bloom

File Photo: An algal bloom at Lincoln Marina at Utah Lake courtesy The Utah Department Of Environmental Quality.

PROVO, Utah — Public health officials announced Utah Lake is now on a “warning” level due to a potentially harmful algal bloom.

People, pets and other animals should stay out of the lake in order to avoid potential exposure to harmful cyanobacteria. Symptoms of exposure to the bacteria include headache, fever, diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting and sometimes allergic-like reactions from skin contact.

A news release from the Utah Department of Environmental Quality said water samples throughout the lake show cell concentrations in excess of the recommended warning threshold level.

“Water with these levels of concentration in the algal bloom pose health risks,” said Eric Edwards, Deputy Director of Utah County Health Department, in a news release. “To protect the health of people and animals that use the lake, it is important for the public to be aware of the WARNING on the lake.”

Those recreating on Utah Lake should take caution and avoid areas of scum.

“Although blue-green algae are a natural part of many freshwater ecosystems, under the right conditions they can grow rapidly. High levels of nutrients in the water, combined with warm temperatures, abundant sunlight, and calm water, can promote growth, resulting in extensive blooms. These blooms consist of cyanobacteria (often referred to as blue-green algae), a type of bacteria that poses risks to humans, wildlife, domestic animals, and fish,” the news release said.

You can monitor algal blooms in Utah here: