Health Officials Warn About Toxic Algae Blooms In Utah Lake

PROVO, Utah (AP) — Health officials have warned that algae blooms are turning up in Utah Lake that can produce toxins harmful to humans and animals.

The Utah County Health Department warned Friday that samples taken from the lake water on July 13 show that cyanobacteria cell counts have reached a dangerous level, The Daily Herald reported Monday. The warning came days after officials issued a similar advisory for American Fork Beach.

Utah Lake marinas will remain open for boat traffic but water recreation “should be avoided” at the American Fork Marina, Lincoln Beach and within the Provo Bay, according to county health officials.

Cyanobacteria are microorganisms that are a natural part of fresh water ecosystems but under certain conditions they can multiple rapidly, creating scums and blooms on the water’s surface and along shorelines

The blooms may cause skin rashes, a runny nose, a sore throat, stomach problems and more serious health concerns for swimmers and waders, health officials said.

Officials urged people to avoid swallowing water when swimming, wash hands with clean water before preparing food and to not allow pets or livestock to swim in or drink the water.