TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KLIX)-Local health authorities have issued a health advisory for two reservoirs in the Magic Valley for toxic algal blooms. The South Central Public Health District announced water tests done by the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality for Salmon Falls Reservoir and Magic Reservoir show their are currently unhealthy toxic levels of harmful algal blooms (HABs). “It’s important to keep family and pets away from the water when there is a harmful algal bloom because the toxin released can cause neurological problems, gastrointestinal distress, and irritate other areas of your body like your skin, eyes, and ears,” said SCPHD Public Health Program Manager Josh Jensen in the announcement.

The Health District said people should follow these steps:

  • Avoid exposure to water in reservoirs under a HAB health advisory. Make sure children, pets, and livestock are not exposed to the water.
  • Do not drink water with a HAB advisory. Boiling and disinfecting DO NOT remove toxins from water.
  • Do not allow pets to eat dried algae.
  • If fishing in HAB water, remove all fat, skin, and organs before cooking. Toxins are more likely to collect in those tissues. Wash hands after handling.

Health officials say if any pet begins to show signs of exposure to the toxic algal bloom to call a veterinarian right away.

In past years Salmon Falls Reservoir has been known to develop HABs as well as several other lakes and reservoirs in the area. According to SCPHD, HABs are a common occurrence in the Magic Valley, typically during the warm summertime. The HABs usually shrink as cooler weather moves in during the fall and winter.

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