Harmful algal bloom detected in Pineview Reservoir in Ogden

OGDEN, Utah -- The Weber-Morgan Health Department warned residents to avoid exposure at Pineview Reservoir after a harmful algal bloom was found.

According to a press release made by the health department, health officials have not closed the lake, but people were warned to avoid contact with scum, and were urged to keep their pets from the bloom.

“The bloom has the potential to shift with the wind and temperatures so we are warning people (to) exercise caution, heed the warning signs and stay away from areas of scum,” said Michela Harris, Environmental Health Director for the Weber-Morgan Health Department.

Health department officials said that blue-green algae are natural parts of many fresh bodies of water, but under the right conditions, they can expand rapidly and become harmful.

"High levels of nutrients in the water, combined with warm temperatures, abundant sunlight, and calm water, can promote growth, resulting in extensive blooms," the health department wrote. "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."

Symptoms of exposure to algal blooms include headaches, fever, diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting and sometimes allergic-like reactions.

Signs were posted at the entrance to the reservoir and along the trails and beaches surrounding the lake, asking recreationalists to:
• Do not swim or water ski in the area
• Avoid areas of algae scum when boating
• Keep animals away
• Do not ingest the water
• Clean fish well and discard guts

For concerns about possible human exposure to the algal bloom, call the Utah Poison Control Center at 800-222-1222.