UTAH COUNTY – Utah County Health Department (UCHD) has closed the Utah County section of the Jordan River because of the harmful algae that continues to pose a health risk to the public, pets and other animals.
Officials have also closed the Liberty Park pond in Salt Lake City because the pond gets part of its water from sources connected to the Jordan River.
Health officials closed Utah Lake July 15 after lab results came back three times higher than the safety threshold for closing a body of water.
This warning does not affect drinking water since it comes from a separate source.
The Utah DEQ said residents who get their secondary water from the Jordan River should not use it.
Secondary water is commonly used for watering lawns and gardens.
Irrigation companies and some cities have shut down secondary water as a precaution.
UCHD has posted danger signs at all major recreational access points to the Jordan River within Utah County; the Jordan River and all canals in both Utah and Salt Lake counties are potentially unsafe for people and animals.
The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (UDAF) strongly advises farmers and ranchers against using water from Utah Lake for food production, especially fruits and vegetables, and livestock watering until lab results are available early next week.
If farmers and ranchers have access to other water sources UDAF advises them to use those alternate sources to water crops, livestock and other animals.
Pet owners are also urged to keep animals away from the lake, river and canals and should not let them drink the water.
If your pets have been exposed to affected waters and have symptoms, they should be seen by a veterinarian.
Symptoms in pets include weakness, fatigue and excessive saliva production.
Health officials said anglers are also advised not to fish or eat fish from Utah Lake and sections of the Jordan River that feed out of the lake.
Anyone who has caught fish from those areas on or after July 10 should not eat the fish.
The toxic algae can cause liver damage and/or neurological damage, according to the health dept.
Exposure to the algae can lead to vomiting, headaches and skin rashes.
The health dept. said to contact your physician or the Utah Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222) if you believe you have symptoms from exposure to a harmful algal bloom.