MURTAUGH, Idaho (KLIX)-Magic Valley health officials issued a health advisory Monday for Murtaugh Lake after the water was tested for a toxic algal bloom. According to the South Central Public Health District (SCPHD), the health advisory was issued following tests by the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) that found unhealthy levels of Microcycstin in the lake. The toxin is caused by a HAB, or harmful algal bloom, that develops naturally, according to the health department. The HABs usually form during the summer in hot weather, but shrink as the temperatures get cooler.
The SCPHD provided the following tips around the toxic blooms:

  • 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.

Earlier this month a health advisory was also issued for Salmon Falls Creek Reservoir south of Twin Falls for the presence of an HAB. The health district will issue another notice when the HABs dissipate and toxin levels are safe.

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