Health Department Warns of Blue-Green Algae
File photo courtesy of the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality
The Wyoming Department of Health (WDH) is warning of harmful cyanobacterial blooms (HCB), or blue-green algae, in Wyoming waters. However, there are currently no advisories in effect for the northeastern corner of the state. Advisories are in effect at four reservoirs all in southern Wyoming: Woodruff Narrows, Leazenby, Toltec, and Eden reservoirs.
HCBs, which can last a few hours or for months, typically occur in slow-moving water as temperatures increase during the summer, according to a release from WDH. The blooms can pose health risks to people, pets, and livestock, which is why advisories are issued when such toxins are present in the water.
Here are some recommendations from the WDH if a bloom is present:
- Avoid contact with water in the vicinity of the bloom, especially in areas where cyanobacteria are dense and form scum.
- Do not ingest water from the bloom. Boiling, filtration, and other treatments will not remove toxins
- Rinse fish with clean water and eat only the fillet portion.
- Avoid water spray from the bloom.
- Do not allow pets or livestock to drink water near the bloom, eat bloom material, or lick fur after contact.
- If people, pets, or livestock come into contact with a bloom, rise off with clean water as soon as possible.
In addition to the four reservoirs under current advisories, four other Wyoming waters are under investigation for HCB including Seminoe, Boysen, Horseshoe, and Wheatland #3 reservoirs.