Utah Lake reopens for swimming as toxic algae continues to dissipate

Posted at 7:36 PM, Aug 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-02 21:36:40-04

UTAH COUNTY, Utah — Public health officials have decreased restrictions on swimming and other water activities in the areas of Utah Lake where lake scum is not present.

The lake was closed to the public for nearly two weeks, starting in mid-July, after a toxic algae bloom spread around the lake. The lake is now under a “caution” advisory, meaning people who recreate at Utah Lake should continue to avoid swimming, water skiing and other activities in the areas where lake scum is present.  Pets and livestock should also be kept away from those areas.

According to a press release from the Department of Environmental Quality, the change was made after the latest round of samples analyzed showed the dangerous algae continues to dissipate at the majority of locations in Utah Lake, the Jordan River and associated canals.

As a part of the “caution” advisory, those recreating at Utah Lake should avoid swimming, boating and water skiing in areas where scum is present. Officials said it is important to continue to keep pets and livestock away. The press release also advised anglers to continue to clean their fish thoroughly and discard the guts responsibly.

“Algae and scum may still be in the lake,” said Ralph Clegg, Executive Director of Utah County Health Department in the press release. “The lake will continue to be monitored and sampled on a regular basis. If sample results show a threat to health, then we will again take the appropriate actions.”