Harmful Algal Blooms Reported at Two Magic Valley Reservoirs
TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KLIX) Magic Valley health officials are warning of a harmful algal bloom at two reservoirs in southern Idaho. Just this morning the South Central Public Health District is asking people to avoid exposure to water at both Salmon Falls Creek and Mormon reservoirs because of unhealthy micro-toxin levels. The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality tested water samples on July 23, and found Microcycstin to be at unhealthy levels. SCPHD Public Health Program Manager Josh Jensen said in a prepared statement, “Children and pets are particularly susceptible. Exposure to the toxins produced by cyanobacterial HABs may result in life-threatening liver damage, neurological problems such as muscle spasms, decreased movement, labored breathing, convulsions, and possible death.”
The health department is asking people to follow these guidelines:
- Avoid exposure to water in reservoirs experiencing a HAB. Take extra care that children, pets, and livestock are not exposed to the water.
- Do not consume water with a blue-green algae bloom. Neither boiling nor disinfecting removes blue-green algae toxins from water.
- If fish have been exposed to a blue-green algae bloom only consume the fillet portion (remove the fat, organs, and skin). Wash hands after handling. The risk associated with consuming fish caught in waters with a blue-green algae bloom is unknown.
DEQ will continue to monitor both reservoirs and let the public know when the concern is over. DEQ officials say they rely on the public to report suspicious looking water and recommend people download the Bloom Watch app to make such reports.