SPRINGDALE, Utah. — Last July, after a reported pet fatality in Zion National Park, staff began actively monitoring for the presence of harmful cyanobacteria and cyanotoxins in three major tributaries of the Virgin River within the National Park: North Fork of the Virgin River, North Creek, and La Verkin Creek.
This month, toxin concentrations have increased in the North Fork of the Virgin River to a level that poses risk; a danger advisory was just issued for the North Fork of the Virgin River based on the levels. Visitors should avoid all contact with the water in the North Fork of the Virgin River, including the Narrows, until further notice.
North Creek has been issued a warning advisory based on the same concerns. And La Verkin Creek has been issued a Health Watch based on the presence of harmful cyanobacteria, which may produce cyanotoxins.
Visitors should avoid primary contact with water in North Creek and La Verkin Creek. This means no swimming or submerging one’s head in water. Visitors should not filter any drinking water from any streams or rivers in the Zion National Park until further notice.
- Children are especially vulnerable to cyanotoxins. Minimize risk by avoiding contact with water bodies
- Do not submerge heads in water. Toxins can enter the body by swallowing water or through the nose, eyes, or open wounds
- Do not drink river water. There is no known recreational water filtration method that is effective at clearing water of cyanotoxin