Northern Utah- On Sunday the Utah Department of Environmental Quality stated that the Jordan River and related canals are not safe as a source of water or recreation because cyanobacteria were found in the water.
The Utah County Health Department closed the Utah Lake Saturday to the public and in particular for pets, due to a toxic algae bloom that covers 90 percent of the water. The algae bloom extended to the Jordan River, and it could reach the Great Salt Lake. The toxic algae were also found in the lower Spanish Fork River and the lower Little Cottonwood Creek.
The Daily Herald reports that the assistant water quality director of the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) stated that the toxic algae bloom could cover the Jordan River up to the Great Salt Lake and Farmington Bay. The Jordan River is now closely monitored as the DEQ.
In the Utah Lake, high levels of Aphanizomenon Flos-Aquae were found. This cyanobacterium is the same that is currently in the water in the Jordan River and its system. In the Utah Lake, 10 million cells per milliliter are in the water, and the blooms cover 90 percent of the lake. To close a lake, river or any other source of water for toxic elements, the cell count per millimeter must be over 3 million cells. The Jordan River has not passed the threshold but is already dangerous for humans, animals, and plants.
The cyanobacteria can cause neurological and liver damage. The algae toxicity can provoke in humans nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache and skin rash. To animals, symptoms include weakness, fatigue, and excessive saliva production, Fox 13 reports.
The press release said that signs will be posted to all recreational access point to the Jordan River in Salt Lake County because even when it is not close, it is still a danger to humans and animals.
The toxic bloom can affect water usage in Salt Lake County
According to the Daily Herald Saratoga Springs cut off secondary water sources for about 1 thousand residences north of the old Saratoga Springs Resort, although Salt Lake County water comes from an unaffected source.
But for those citizens that do receive secondary/irrigation water from the Jordan River should not use the water, not even for watering the plants.
All farmers and ranchers should not use water from the Utah Lake nor the river in their production or their water livestock. Anglers should not fish or consume their catch if it came from the Utah Lake or the Jordan Liver and its surroundings. Any person that caught fish in those areas after July 10 should not eat it. It cannot be feed to pets either.
DEQ spokeswoman Donna Spangler said in a press release that algal blooms could last days or weeks, and after they vanished, the water remains toxic. This is why the DEQ do not have an estimate on when the water in the lake, the river, and related canals are going to be safe to use.
Source: Fox 13 Now