Utah Lake and Payson Lake advisories updated following more algal bloom testing

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The Utah Health Department has updated the advisory warnings for Utah Lake and Payson Lake pertaining to the algal bloom. (Photo courtesy DEQ)

The Utah County Health Department has updated the advisory warnings for Utah Lake and Payson Lake pertaining to the algal bloom. (Photo courtesy DEQ)

Utah County Health Department officials have updated advisories on the algal bloom in Utah Lake and Payson Lake.

While the algal bloom started to recede, some locations have digressed as we enter the typical algal bloom season.

“We are just now approaching the typical algal bloom season,” said Ralph Clegg, UCHD, Executive Director. “It really is not surprising that we are seeing the algal bloom issues resurface as we get ready to head into Fall.”

Updated restrictions are as follows:

Utah Lake

  • Sandy Beach: changed from a CAUTION to WARNING advisory
  • Saratoga Springs Marina: changed from a CAUTION to WARNING advisory
  • Lincoln Beach: remains CLOSED
  • All other areas remain at a CAUTION advisory

Payson Lakes

  • Box Lake: changed from a CAUTION to WARNING advisory
  • Big East Lake: remains at a WARNING advisory
  • McKellen Lake: remains at a CAUTION advisory

A WARNING advisory means no swimming in the lake. However, boating activities are permitted. A CAUTION advisory means swimming and other water activities are allowed. In all cases, the public should avoid areas with scum. Also, pets and livestock should not drink the water.

On July 15, the Utah Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) shut down Utah Lake to all activity as a toxic algal bloom covered 90 percent of the lake.

The DEQ reported as of Thursday, July 28, that the Utah Poison Control Center has received a “low volume of calls related to the algal bloom.” They’ve received a total of 627 calls, 511 related to human exposures and 27 related to animal exposures. Only 30 percent of those callers has reported symptoms from the algal bloom. Symptoms reported include gastrointestinal distress to headaches and skin irritation.

Symptoms for algae exposure include headache, diarrhea, fever, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and skin rashes.

Utah Lake initially reopened to boaters on July 29.

Anyone concerned with exposure to Utah Lake’s algal bloom should contact their doctor of Utah Poison Control at (800) 222-1222. For concerns about animals, call their veterinarian.

For more updates on the algal bloom at Utah Lake, visit deq.utah.gov.

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Rebecca Lane

While her first language is sarcasm, Rebecca dabbles in English and Russian to achieve her lifelong dream of being a journalist. A BYU sports fan, reading enthusiast and wannabe world traveler, Rebecca is a Colorado transplant that is convinced Colorado's mountains are much larger than the many Utah County peaks. Rebecca manages UtahValley360.com for Bennett Communications. Follow her on Twitter @rebeccalane.

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