Harmful algae detected in Tahoe Keys; Signs posted reflect various threat levels | SierraSun.com
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Harmful algae detected in Tahoe Keys; Signs posted reflect various threat levels

Tahoe Keys algae warning.
Provided

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — The presence of harmful algal blooms in the Tahoe Keys Lagoon has been detected and officials are asking people to stay out of the water within a specific area.

The Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board on Friday announced that tests confirmed the presence of harmful algae and have posted signs in certain areas to coincide with potential health risks present.

Lahontan said it regularly monitors the lagoon at multiple locations and these multiple advisories exist due to the varying levels of toxin detections. The latest results from the HAB sampling indicate the highest levels have been detected at the corner of Venice and Alpine Drive, resulting in a danger advisory.



Anyone visiting the area is encouraged to follow the below guidance until further notice.

Caution:



— You can swim in this water, but stay away from algae and scum.

— Do not let pets and other animals go into or drink the water or eat scum on the shore.

— Keep children away from algae in the water and on the shore.

— Do not drink the water or use it for cooking.

— For fish caught here, throw away guts and clean fillets with tap water or bottled water before cooking.

— Do not eat shellfish from this water.

Warning:

— No swimming.

— Do not let pets and other animals go into or drink the water or eat scum on the shore.

— Stay away from scum, and cloudy or discolored water.

— Do not eat shellfish from this water.

— Do not use this water for drinking or cooking. Boiling or filtering will not make the water safe.

— For fish caught here, throw away guts and clean fillets with tap water or bottled water before cooking.

Danger:

— Stay out of the water until further notice, including watercraft.

— Do not let pets and other animals drink or go into the water or go near the scum.

— Stay away from scum, and cloudy or discolored water.

— Do not eat fish or shellfish from this water.

— Do not use this water for drinking or cooking. Boiling or filtering will not make the water safe.

According to a news release, cyanobacteria, a group of organisms that form HABs, can produce potent toxins that can affect human and pet health. Health risks are associated with HABs, based on cyanobacteria levels as they produce dermatoxins, and levels of exposure that can cause skin inflammation, gastrointestinal distress, headaches, agitation and weakness or abnormal breathing if HAB material is swallowed while swimming. Dogs and children are most susceptible to exposure because of their smaller body size, increased potential to swallow water while swimming and tendency to stay in the water longer. If you suspect exposure, wash your children and dog immediately, and potentially seek medical attention.

The HAB in the lagoon appears to be suspended on the water’s surface. Bloom conditions can change rapidly, as the winds move or concentrate the bloom into different areas. In some areas, the HAB may concentrate and form a film or scum on the water surface. The color of the water may also appear discolored as bright or dark green and brown. 

The Tahoe Keys Property Owners Association has posted signs to notify recreational users of the HAB. The Water Board will continue to provide regular updates to inform the community when additional postings occur and/or previous postings are removed from the California HAB Reports Web Map.

The Water Board recommends that people practice healthy water habits while enjoying the outdoors this summer at your local lake, river or stream: 

— Heed all instructions on posted advisories if present 

— Avoid algae and scum in the water and on the shore 

— Keep an eye on children and pets 

— If you think a harmful algal bloom or toxic algal mats are present, do not let pets and other animals go into or drink the water or eat scum/algal mats on the shore 

— Don’t drink the water or use it for cooking 

— Wash yourself, your family and your pets with clean water after water play 

— If you catch fish, throw away guts and clean fillets with tap water or bottled water before cooking 

— Avoid eating shellfish if you think a harmful algal bloom is present 

Get medical treatment immediately if you think that you, your pet or livestock has gotten sick after going in the water. Be sure to alert the medical professional to the possible contact with cyanobacteria. Also, make sure to contact the local county public health department. 

To report a bloom, do one of the following:

— Fill out the Bloom Report form on the HABs Portal

— Email: CyanoHAB.reports@waterboards.ca.gov

— Call the HABs hotline: 1-844-729-6466 (toll free)

— Contact your County Public Health Office


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