Health department warns people & pets to stay out of Utah Lake

Local News

PROVO (ABC4 Utah News) -The latest tests show that cyanobacteria, commonly called toxic algae, is blooming throughout Utah Lake according to Ben Holcomb, a Coordinator for the Utah Division of Water Quality.

“The cyanobacteria is increasing in its concentration and density and spatially across the lake,” Holcomb said Wednesday. “Now we’re seeing it in greater numbers throughout the northern part of the lake, the western part of the lake and even the southern part of the lake.”

That has led the Utah County Health Department to expand it’s warnings because ingesting the water – or even skin contact can make you sick.

“The algae itself can cause symptoms and irritation,” Bryce Larsen of the Utah County Health Department said. “Basically they mimic the stomach flu, headache, body aches, vomiting diarrhea, those kinds of symptoms.”

For now Utah Lake is still open for boating and sailing but experts advise people and pets to stay out of the water.

“It’s at a warning level and that means you can still go out and recreate on the lake,” Holcomb said. “However avoid primary contact with the water. So that being: don’t swim. Don’t be water skiing, no tubing and those kinds of activities and additionally keep your pets away from the water.”

In 2016, Utah Lake was closed from July 15th to July 29th because of cyanobacteria.

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