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All of Utah Lake now under warning, people and pets warned to stay out

August 8, 2018

A warning sign for harmful algae is pictured near the Swede Sportsman Access on Provo Bay on Tuesday, June 12, 2018.

All of Utah Lake is now under a warning due to a harmful algal bloom.

Harmful algal blooms occur when cyanobacteria in the water multiply quickly to form visible blooms, according to the Utah Department of Environmental Quality website. Those blooms sometimes produce cyanotoxins that can pose health risks to both humans and animals.

Warnings had previously been in place for select locations on the lake, such as Utah Lake State Park and Sandy Beach, but not for the lake as a whole. The Utah County Health Department will be adding warning signs in places that were not already under warning, said spokeswoman Aislyn Tolman-Hill. Those locations include Saratoga Springs, Lindon and American Fork.

“I think it’s important for everyone to know that we have seen significant changes in a short amount of time in cell concentrations,” Tolman-Hill said. “It is worth people being aware of the warnings.”

A Warning Advisory indicates a moderate relative probability of acute health risk, according to the Department of Environmental Quality’s website. Symptoms of exposure can include dizziness, skin irritation, vomiting and diarrhea.

The DEQ’s suggested actions when the lake is under a warning advisory include:

Do not swim or water skiDo not ingest the waterKeep pets and livestock awayClean fish well and discard gutsAvoid areas of scum when boating

Anyone who believes they may be exposed or is experiencing symptoms should call Utah Poison Control at (800) 222-1222.

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