Harmful algal blooms trigger Morgan County health advisories

MORGAN COUNTY, Utah – Three health advisories have been issued in Morgan County, telling boaters, swimmers and anglers to be cautious in the Pineview, Lost Creek and East Canyon reservoirs, to steer clear of algae and to keep a close eye on children and pets on shorelines.

All three reservoirs have been issued a warning advisory by the Utah Department of Environmental Quality, for the presence of harmful algae in all three reservoirs. Stagnating water and warm temperatures are contributing to the buildup of algae.

The DEQ is advising to not swim in areas with algae present, avoid algae when boating and thoroughly clean any fish caught in the reservoirs.

There are three levels of advisories issued by the DEQ: health watch, warning advisory, and danger advisory.

A health watch is the least severe, and usually means there is evidence that either waterborne pathogens are present or a harmful algal bloom is developing.

A warning advisory, like the ones in Morgan County, usually means a threshold established by the Utah Department of Health and Human Services has been exceeded by the water body. This is a strong indication that either waterborne pathogens or a harmful algal bloom is present.

A danger advisory denotes that the amount of toxic algal blooms in the water body has surpassed the limit set by the Utah Department of Health and Human Services. This indicates that the bloom has grown significantly and/or that dangerously high amounts of toxins have been detected. Frequently, the danger advisory includes a temporary closure of a body of water.

In Summit and Wasatch Counties, the health watches issued over a week ago are still in effect, although the Charleston Day Use area advisory has been downgraded from a danger advisory to a warning advisory. The health watch issued for the Rock Cliff boat ramp in the Jordanelle Reservoir remains in effect.

To learn more about harmful algal blooms and to see the full list of waterbodies effected by algal blooms, visit the DEQ’s webpage.

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