UTAH LAKE — The Utah County Health Department has issued a harmful algal bloom (HAB) warning for one area of Utah Lake.
The department announced Monday afternoon that Lincoln Beach* had reached a "warning" level of algal blooms.
The marina is still open for personal watercraft access, but the health department warns that water recreation in the Lincoln Beach area should be avoided.
Algae occurs naturally in bodies of water, but large amonts of cyanobacteria can create HABs -- especially in the summer.
On its website, the Utah Department of Environmental Quality provides the following tips for staying safe during algal bloom season:
If you suspect a harmful algal bloom
- Don’t swim in water that appears to have a harmful algal bloom.
- Don’t boat, water ski, or jet-ski on scummy water. These activities can cause toxins to become airborne, increasing the likelihood you will inhale them.
- Don’t let children play with scum in the water or along the shore.
- Don’t let pets or livestock swim in or drink from scummy waters.
- When in doubt, stay out.
Every time you go out
- Don’t swallow water when swimming.
- Shower after coming into contact with recreational water.
- Rinse animals immediately if they swim in recreational water.
- Wash hands with clean water before eating or preparing food.
- Clean fish well and discard the guts.
- Never drink recreational water. Recreational water may contain bacteria, parasites, or viruses, as well as cyanotoxins, that could cause illness if ingested.
- Do not boil water in an attempt to remove toxins, as boiling actually releases more toxins.
- Wash dishes with clean water. Do not use recreational water.
- When in doubt, stay out.
How to recognize a harmful algal bloom
Harmful algal blooms may look like pea soup, green or blue paint, or have a scum layer or mats/foam floating on the surface. The water may also appear in shades of green, blue-green, yellow, brown, or red. Visit the HABs Photo Gallery for examples of blooms in Utah.
How to report an exposure
Call the Utah Poison Control Center (UPCC) at (800) 222-1222 if you think you or your pet have been exposed to a harmful algal bloom. UPCC physicians, pharmacists, and nurses trained in toxicology can answer your questions and advise you on the need for further medical or veterinary treatment.
Symptoms of human exposure
- Rashes, hives, or blisters from skin contact
- Runny nose, sore throat, asthma, or allergic-like reactions from breathing in droplets from contaminated water
- Vomiting and diarrhea, stomach pain, weakness, tingling, dizziness, or trouble breathing from swallowing contaminated water
Symptoms of animal exposure
- Difficulty breathing
*The health department initially reported algal bloom warnings at American Fork Marina and Lindon Marina as well, but later issued a correction that only Lincoln Beach was under "warning" status.