CAMAS COUNTY, Idaho (KLIX) Southern Idaho health officials say tests from a Magic Valley reservoir came back with high toxin levels. The South Central Public Health District announced that the toxin microcystin was found at Mormon Reservoir, located north of Gooding, in the form of an algae bloom. Harmful algal blooms are also labeled as HABs. The reservoir is used for recreational activities and a water supply for grazing cattle.

On August 12, health officials and the Idaho Department of Environmental quality issued a health warning for Mormon Reservoir when a harmful blue-green algal bloom was found. A pet dog apparently died after coming into contact with the water.  The health district has issued the following warnings:

  • Avoid exposure to water experiencing a HAB. Take extra precautions to ensure 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 are known to 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. Toxins produced by blue-green algae can accumulate in the organs of fish.

Officials say they will continue to monitor the water quality at Mormon Reservoir until the risk no longer remains. The microcystin can cause serious damage to the liver, according to health officials. It can be lethal to animals that drink the contaminated water.

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