HARMFUL ALGAL BLOOM ADVISORY LIFTED FOR LAKE LOWELL

Public Health Advisory

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                        

HARMFUL ALGAL BLOOM (HAB) PUBLIC HEALTH ADVISORY LIFTED FOR HELLS CANYON RESERVOIR

Southwest District Health, in conjunction with the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), has lifted the Public Health Advisory for Hells Canyon Reservoir. The initial advisory for Hells Canyon Reservoir was issued August 9, 2019 and was amended September 12, 2019.

Department of Environmental Quality officials monitor cyanobacteria and associated toxins where harmful algal blooms (HABs) are present and have confirmed that cyanobacteria levels in the Hells Canyon Reservoir have returned to normal and toxin levels are below the safety threshold.

Other blooms may exist on this waterbody that have not been reported to DEQ or the health district. Water users should always exercise caution around water bodies with visible slime or surface scum or a foul odor. High concentrations of toxin-producing cyanobacteria may cause illness to both humans and animals. Report any concerns to DEQ at 208.373.0550.

For more information about harmful algal blooms, visit DEQ’s website at https://www.deq.idaho.gov/water-quality/surface-water/recreation-health-advisories/cyanobacteria-harmful-algal-blooms/

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DEQ Media Contact

Chase Cusack                        208.373.0490              Chase.Cusack@deq.idaho.gov

SWDH Media Contact

Katrina Williams                208.455.5317               Katrina.Williams@phd3.idaho.gov

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HARMFUL ALGAL BLOOM (HAB) PUBLIC HEALTH ADVISORY LIFTED FOR HELLS CANYON RESERVOIR

Public Health Advisory

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                        

HARMFUL ALGAL BLOOM (HAB) PUBLIC HEALTH ADVISORY LIFTED FOR HELLS CANYON RESERVOIR

Southwest District Health, in conjunction with the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), has lifted the Public Health Advisory for Hells Canyon Reservoir. The initial advisory for Hells Canyon Reservoir was issued August 9, 2019 and was amended September 12, 2019.

Department of Environmental Quality officials monitor cyanobacteria and associated toxins where harmful algal blooms (HABs) are present and have confirmed that cyanobacteria levels in the Hells Canyon Reservoir have returned to normal and toxin levels are below the safety threshold.

Other blooms may exist on this waterbody that have not been reported to DEQ or the health district. Water users should always exercise caution around water bodies with visible slime or surface scum or a foul odor. High concentrations of toxin-producing cyanobacteria may cause illness to both humans and animals. Report any concerns to DEQ at 208.373.0550.

For more information about harmful algal blooms, visit DEQ’s website at https://www.deq.idaho.gov/water-quality/surface-water/recreation-health-advisories/cyanobacteria-harmful-algal-blooms/

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DEQ Media Contact

Chase Cusack                        208.373.0490              Chase.Cusack@deq.idaho.gov

SWDH Media Contact

Katrina Williams                208.455.5317               Katrina.Williams@phd3.idaho.gov

 

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HARMFUL ALGAL BLOOM ADVISORY LIFTED FOR BROWNLEE

Public Health Advisory

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                        

HARMFUL ALGAL BLOOM ADVISORY LIFTED FOR BROWNLEE

Southwest District Health, in conjunction with the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), has lifted the Cyanobacteria Health Advisory for Brownlee Reservoir. The advisory was issued in July 2019.

DEQ officials monitor cyanobacteria and associated toxins where harmful algal blooms (HABs) are present and have confirmed that cyanobacteria levels in the Brownlee Reservoir have returned to normal and toxin levels are below the safety threshold.

Other blooms may exist on this waterbody that have not been reported to DEQ or the health district. Water users should always exercise caution around water bodies with visible slime or surface scum or a foul odor. High concentrations of toxin-producing cyanobacteria may cause illness to both humans and animals. Report any concerns to DEQ at 208.373.0550.

For more information about harmful algal blooms and recreation water quality advisories, visit DEQ’s website at

http://www.deq.idaho.gov/water-quality/surface-water/recreation-health-advisories/

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DEQ Media Contact

Chase Cusack                        208.373.0490              Chase.Cusack@deq.idaho.gov

SWDH Media Contact

Katrina Williams                208.455.5317               Katrina.Williams@phd3.idaho.gov

 

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AMENDED Health Advisory Issued for Hells Canyon Reservoir

Public Health Advisory – Amended

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                        

AMENDED Health advisory issued for HELLS CANYON RESERVOIR amending affected area

HELLS CANYON RESERVOIR, ID— Southwest District Health (SWDH) and the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) are issuing a health advisory for HELLS CANYON RESERVOIR from Big Bar to Hells Canyon Dam, urging residents to use caution when recreating in or near the water.   The initial advisory issued August 9, 2019 stated the affected area as Copper Creek down to Hells Canyon Dam.

Recent samples taken from the water body indicate high concentrations of toxin-producing cyanobacteria, which can be harmful to people, pets, and livestock. Those with liver or kidney damage are at an increased risk of illness.

Cyanobacteria are a natural part of Idaho’s water bodies. When temperatures rise, their populations can bloom and toxic chemical compounds, or cyanotoxins, can be released into the water. Blooms can vary in appearance, and may look like mats, foam, spilled paint, or surface scum, and have a foul odor.

When recreating near or in HELLS CANYON RESERVOIR, take the following precautions while the advisory is in effect:

  • Avoid swimming, wading, or other activities. Take extra precautions to ensure children, pets, and livestock are not exposed to the water.
  • Do not drink or cook with water containing a bloom. Boiling and filtering the water can increase the risk.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly after handling fish caught in water experiencing a bloom. Cyanotoxins can accumulate in fish and the risk to people is being researched. Any fish caught should be cleaned and washed thoroughly in uncontaminated water and any internal organs disposed of before consumption. If people choose to eat fish from this area, filet the fish and remove all of the fat, skin, and organs before cooking.
  • Clean with potable water as soon as possible if water contacts skin or pet fur.

Symptoms of cyanotoxin exposure include rashes, hives, diarrhea, vomiting, coughing, and/or wheezing. More severe symptoms affecting the liver and nervous system may result from ingesting water. If symptoms persist, consult your healthcare provider.

The public will be advised when it is likely the concern no longer exists.

For more information about harmful algal blooms, visit DEQ’s website at:

http://www.deq.idaho.gov/water-quality/surface-water/recreation-health-advisories/

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DEQ Media Contact

Chase Cusack                        208.373.0490              Chase.Cusack@deq.idaho.gov

SWDH Media Contact

Katrina Williams                208.455.5317               Katrina.Williams@phd3.idaho.gov

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Health Advisory Issued for LAKE LOWELL

Public Health Advisory

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                        

Health Advisory Issued for LAKE LOWELL

CANYON COUNTY, ID — Southwest District Health and the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) are issuing a health advisory for LAKE LOWELL, urging residents to use caution when recreating in or near the water.

Recent samples taken from the water body indicate high concentrations of toxin-producing cyanobacteria, which can be harmful to people, pets, and livestock. Those with liver or kidney damage are at an increased risk of illness.

Cyanobacteria are a natural part of Idaho’s water bodies. When temperatures rise, their populations can bloom and toxic chemical compounds, or cyanotoxins, can be released into the water. Blooms can vary in appearance, and may look like mats, foam, spilled paint, or surface scum, and have a foul odor.

When recreating near or in LAKE LOWELL, take the following precautions while the advisory is in effect:

  • Avoid swimming, wading, or other activities. Take extra precautions to ensure children, pets, and livestock are not exposed to the water.
  • Do not drink or cook with water containing a bloom. Boiling and filtering the water can increase the risk.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly after handling fish caught in water experiencing a bloom. Cyanotoxins can accumulate in fish and the risk to people is being researched. Any fish caught should be cleaned and washed thoroughly in uncontaminated water and any internal organs disposed of before consumption. If people choose to eat fish from this area, filet the fish and remove all of the fat, skin, and organs before cooking.
  • Clean with potable water as soon as possible if water contacts skin or pet fur.

Symptoms of cyanotoxin exposure include rashes, hives, diarrhea, vomiting, coughing, and/or wheezing. More severe symptoms affecting the liver and nervous system may result from ingesting water. If symptoms persist, consult your healthcare provider.

The public will be advised when it is likely the concern no longer exists.

Lake Lowell is part of the Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge, which is managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

For more information about harmful algal blooms, visit DEQ’s website at http://www.deq.idaho.gov/water-quality/surface-water/recreation-health-advisories/

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Chase Cusack, DEQ                         208.373.0490              Chase.Cusack@deq.idaho.gov

Katrina Williams, SWDH                  208.455.5317               Katrina.Williams@phd3.idaho.gov

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Health Advisory Issued for Hells Canyon Reservoir

Public Health Advisory

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                        

Health advisory issued for HELLS CANYON RESERVOIR

HELLS CANYON RESERVOIR, ID— Southwest District Health (SWDH) and the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) are issuing a health advisory for HELLS CANYON RESERVOIR from Copper Creek down to Hells Canyon Dam, urging residents to use caution when recreating in or near the water.

Recent samples taken from the water body indicate high concentrations of toxin-producing cyanobacteria, which can be harmful to people, pets, and livestock. Those with liver or kidney damage are at an increased risk of illness.

Cyanobacteria are a natural part of Idaho’s water bodies. When temperatures rise, their populations can bloom and toxic chemical compounds, or cyanotoxins, can be released into the water. Blooms can vary in appearance, and may look like mats, foam, spilled paint, or surface scum, and have a foul odor.

When recreating near or in HELLS CANYON RESERVOIR, take the following precautions while the advisory is in effect:

  • Avoid swimming, wading, or other activities. Take extra precautions to ensure children, pets, and livestock are not exposed to the water.
  • Do not drink or cook with water containing a bloom. Boiling and filtering the water can increase the risk.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly after handling fish caught in water experiencing a bloom. Cyanotoxins can accumulate in fish and the risk to people is being researched. Any fish caught should be cleaned and washed thoroughly in uncontaminated water and any internal organs disposed of before consumption. If people choose to eat fish from this area, filet the fish and remove all of the fat, skin, and organs before cooking.
  • Clean with potable water as soon as possible if water contacts skin or pet fur.

Symptoms of cyanotoxin exposure include rashes, hives, diarrhea, vomiting, coughing, and/or wheezing. More severe symptoms affecting the liver and nervous system may result from ingesting water. If symptoms persist, consult your healthcare provider.

The public will be advised when it is likely the concern no longer exists.

For more information about harmful algal blooms and recreation water quality advisories, visit DEQ’s website at

http://www.deq.idaho.gov/water-quality/surface-water/recreation-health-advisories/

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DEQ Media Contact

Chase Cusack                        208.373.0490              Chase.Cusack@deq.idaho.gov

SWDH Media Contact

Katrina Williams                208.455.5317               Katrina.Williams@phd3.idaho.gov

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*AMENDED* Health Advisory Issued for Brownlee Reservoir

Public Health Advisory

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                        

*AMENDED* Health advisory issued for BROWNLEE RESERVOIR

Southwest District Health and the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) are issuing an amended health advisory for BROWNLEE RESERVOIR from the area of Canyon Creek on the Oregon side to Brownlee Dam, urging residents to use caution when recreating in or near the water.

Recent samples taken from the water body indicate high concentrations of toxin-producing cyanobacteria, which can be harmful to people, pets, and livestock. Those with liver or kidney damage are at an increased risk of illness.

Cyanobacteria are a natural part of Idaho’s water bodies. When temperatures rise, their populations can bloom and toxic chemical compounds, or cyanotoxins, can be released into the water. Blooms can vary in appearance, and may look like mats, foam, spilled paint, or surface scum, and have a foul odor.

When recreating near or in BROWNLEE RESERVOIR, take the following precautions while the advisory is in effect:

  • Avoid swimming, wading, or other activities. Take extra precautions to ensure children, pets, and livestock are not exposed to the water.
  • Do not drink or cook with water containing a bloom. Boiling and filtering the water can increase the risk.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly after handling fish caught in water experiencing a bloom. Cyanotoxins can accumulate in fish and the risk to people is being researched. Any fish caught should be cleaned and washed thoroughly in uncontaminated water and any internal organs disposed of before consumption. If people choose to eat fish from this area, filet the fish and remove all of the fat, skin, and organs before cooking.
  • Clean with potable water as soon as possible if water contacts skin or pet fur.

Symptoms of cyanotoxin exposure include rashes, hives, diarrhea, vomiting, coughing, and/or wheezing. More severe symptoms affecting the liver and nervous system may result from ingesting water. If symptoms persist, consult your healthcare provider.

The public will be advised when it is likely the concern no longer exists.

For more information about harmful algal blooms and recreation water quality advisories, visit DEQ’s website at

http://www.deq.idaho.gov/water-quality/surface-water/recreation-health-advisories/

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DEQ Media Contact

Chase Cusack                        208.373.0490              Chase.Cusack@deq.idaho.gov

SWDH Media Contact

Katrina Williams                208.455.5317               Katrina.Williams@phd3.idaho.gov

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Health Advisory Issued for Brownlee Reservoir

Public Health Advisory

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                        

Health advisory issued for BROWNLEE RESERVOIR

Southwest District Health, Idaho Power, and the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) are issuing a health advisory for BROWNLEE RESERVOIR from the area near Mountain Man Resort including from Wolf Creek on the Idaho side to Canyon Creek on the Oregon side, urging residents to use caution when recreating in or near the water.

Recent samples taken from the water body indicate high concentrations of toxin-producing cyanobacteria, which can be harmful to people, pets, and livestock. Those with liver or kidney damage are at an increased risk of illness.

Cyanobacteria are a natural part of Idaho’s water bodies. When temperatures rise, their populations can bloom and toxic chemical compounds, or cyanotoxins, can be released into the water. Blooms can vary in appearance, and may look like mats, foam, spilled paint, or surface scum, and have a foul odor.

When recreating near or in BROWNLEE RESERVOIR, take the following precautions while the advisory is in effect:

  • Avoid swimming, wading, or other activities. Take extra precautions to ensure children, pets, and livestock are not exposed to the water.
  • Do not drink or cook with water containing a bloom. Boiling and filtering the water can increase the risk.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly after handling fish caught in water experiencing a bloom. Cyanotoxins can accumulate in fish and the risk to people is being researched. Any fish caught should be cleaned and washed thoroughly in uncontaminated water and any internal organs disposed of before consumption. If people choose to eat fish from this area, filet the fish and remove all of the fat, skin, and organs before cooking.
  • Clean with potable water as soon as possible if water contacts skin or pet fur.

Symptoms of cyanotoxin exposure include rashes, hives, diarrhea, vomiting, coughing, and/or wheezing. More severe symptoms affecting the liver and nervous system may result from ingesting water. If symptoms persist, consult your healthcare provider.

The public will be advised when it is likely the concern no longer exists.

For more information about harmful algal blooms and recreation water quality advisories, visit DEQ’s website at

http://www.deq.idaho.gov/water-quality/surface-water/recreation-health-advisories/

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DEQ Media Contact

Chase Cusack                        208.373.0490              Chase.Cusack@deq.idaho.gov

SWDH Media Contact

Katrina Williams                208.455.5317               Katrina.Williams@phd3.idaho.gov

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HEALTH ADVISORY ISSUED FOR COTTONWOOD PARK AND CAMPGROUND AT C.J. STRIKE RESERVOIR

Public Health Advisory

Elevated levels of cyanobacteria could be harmful to people, pets and livestock

Owyhee Co., ID — In cooperation with the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), Southwest District Health (SWDH) is issuing a health advisory for the Cottonwood Park and Campground at C.J. Strike Reservoir related to elevated levels of cyanobacteria that could be harmful to people, pets and livestock.

High counts of cyanobacteria can create a Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB), which can release harmful toxins. Given the high counts of cyanobacteria at the Cottonwood Park and Campground, conditions are right for a HAB to occur. People and their pets are advised to stay out of the water in this part of the reservoir, located at the Bruneau delta on the south side of the reservoir.

Cyanobacteria occur naturally and blooms occur in waters with high levels of nutrients such as phosphorus and nitrogen. “Whenever you are recreating in any kind of surface water, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings, whether or not there is an advisory in place,” said Chase Cusack, a Watershed Coordinator with Idaho’s DEQ Boise regional office. “While harmful algal blooms aren’t always obvious to the eye, people can look for things like a green or blue-green layer on top of the water that might look like paint, or thick mats, especially along the shoreline. If you suspect a harmful algal bloom, you should report it to the DEQ.”

Areas with high levels of cyanobacteria may also be white or brown in color and look like surface scum, resembling pea soup, and can have an unpleasant odor or stench.

SWDH and DEQ advise the following precautions where high counts of cyanobacteria and harmful algal blooms are known to be present:

  • Humans and animals should stay out of the affected water. Swimming, wading, or other activities with full body contact of pond water should be avoided.
  • Humans, pets, and livestock should not drink the affected water.
  • Fish should be cleaned and rinsed with clean water. Only the fillet portion should be consumed. All other parts should be discarded.
  • Pets and livestock are vulnerable to cyanobacteria and their toxins and should stay out of water where blooms are visible. Pets and livestock can be exposed to cyanobacteria and their toxins through drinking, swimming, or self-grooming by licking their wet coat or paws. A reaction will likely require immediate veterinary attention.
  • Do not allow pets to eat dried algae.
  • If affected water contacts skin or pet fur, wash with clean potable water as soon as possible.
  • Areas of visible algae accumulation should be avoided.

Symptoms of Exposure

People who are exposed to water with high concentrations of cyanobacteria or cyanotoxins may experience nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, skin irritation, allergic responses, liver damage, or neurotoxic reactions such as tingling fingers and toes. Anyone with symptoms should seek medical attention. Boiling or filtering the water will not remove cyanotoxins.

More Information on Cyanobacteria and HABs

For more information about cyanobacteria and harmful algal blooms, including a map of advisories currently in effect throughout Idaho, visit DEQ’s website at http://www.deq.idaho.gov/water-quality/surface-water/recreation-health-advisories/

Additional Resources
Idaho Department of Health and Welfare (IDHW) – Harmful Algal Blooms Webpage
Idaho Power – C.J. Strike Recreation Area

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Contacts:
Katrina Williams, Media Contact
Southwest District Health

Katrina.Williams@phd3.idaho.gov
desk (208) 455-5317 | cell (208) 899-1268

Chase Cusack, Watershed Coordinator
Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (IDEQ)
Boise Regional Office
desk (208) 373-0490   | chase.cusack@deq.idaho.gov

 

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BLUE-GREEN ALGAE – LAKE LOWELL

Public Health Advisory

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

In cooperation with the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge, Southwest District Health (SWDH) is issuing a health advisory for Lake Lowell. Recent samples taken from the lake indicate that toxin-producing cyanobacteria, also called blue-green algae, are present and may cause illness to humans and animals.

Cyanobacteria occur naturally, but high concentrations of blue-green algae can form a bloom under the right conditions, such as high levels of nutrients. Under certain conditions, some types of cyanobacteria can release toxins into the water that are harmful to people, pets, and livestock. The blooms are generally green, or blue-green, and may form thick mats along shorelines. These may look like a surface scum resembling pea soup and can have an unpleasant odor.

SWDH, DEQ and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service advise the following precautions be taken at Lake Lowell while the bloom is known to be present:

  • Humans, pets, and livestock should not drink the reservoir water.
  • Humans and animals should stay out of the reservoir. Swimming, wading, or other activities with full body contact of reservoir water should be avoided.
  • Fish should be cleaned and rinsed with clean water. Only the fillet portion should be consumed. All other parts should be discarded.
  • Pets and livestock should stay out of water where blooms are visible. Pets and livestock can be exposed through drinking, swimming, or self-grooming by licking their wet coat or paws. A reaction will likely require immediate veterinary attention.
  • Do not allow pets to eat dried algae.
  • If reservoir water contacts skin or pet fur, wash with clean potable water as soon as possible.
  • Areas of visible algae accumulation should be avoided.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people who are exposed to water with high concentrations of cyanobacteria may experience nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, skin irritation, allergic responses, liver damage, or neurotoxic reactions such as tingling fingers and toes. Symptoms in humans are rare, but anyone with symptoms should seek medical attention. Boiling or filtering the water will not remove the toxins.

Lake Lowell is part of the Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge, which is managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

For more information about harmful algal blooms, visit DEQ’s website at http://www.deq.idaho.gov/water-quality/surface-water/recreation-health-advisories/

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Chase Cusack, DEQ
Chase.Cusack@deq.idaho.gov
208.373-0490

Katrina Williams, SWDH
Katrina.Williams@phd3.idaho.gov
208.455.5317 (office)
208.899.1268 (cell)

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