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Utah Division of Water Quality testing reservoirs for harmful algal blooms, waterborne pathogens

Posted at 10:11 PM, Jul 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-18 00:14:25-04

As hot temperatures send Utahns to their nearest reservoirs to try and cool off, there's always a concern this time of year regarding the water and what may be in it.

In the video above, FOX 13 News joined the Utah Division of Water Quality as they tested the water at Jordanelle Reservoir for harmful algal blooms (HABs) and waterborne pathogens — which, if detected, could be dangerous for both humans and pets.

From May until the fall, environmental scientists and technicians with Utah's Department of Environmental Quality conduct tests on water bodies all across the state.

READ: $50 million pipeline project looks to improve water quality at Great Salt Lake

They're not only looking for the green or blue-green scum from algal blooms that can live on top of the water, but tests will show if harmful pathogens are in the water. These pathogens can contribute to illness in people — particularly children — or even result in severe illness or death for pets and livestock.

The testing found no signs of HABs at Jordanelle; the pathogen results are to be determined.

While a lot of this is preventable, it's also important to check before you go — just like if you were to look at the road conditions before a trip.

This page on the DEQ's website shows which areas have been tested and which areas have warnings associated with the water. You can also report your own findings of potential blooms or other water issues by calling the 24-hour hotline: (801) 536-4123.