Officials urging people to avoid contact with water at San Luis Reservoir due to algae bloom

The Department of Water Resources is warning people to avoid going into the water at the San Luis Reservoir due to blue-green algae.

The department says exposure to the algae can cause man adverse health effects like eye irritation, allergic skin rash, mouth ulcers, vomiting, diarrhea, and cold- and flu-like symptoms.

It says pets can also be susceptible if they drink the water or lick their fur after going into the reservoir.

The department says boating is still allowed but people should avoid coming into contact with the water.

O'Neill Forebay remains free from algal bloom advisories. Danger signs are posted at the Basalt Boat Launch and Dinosaur Point Boat Launch.

State guidelines on blue-green algae, also known as cyanobacteria, and harmful algal blooms recommend the following precautions be taken in waters impacted by blue-green algae:

Take care that pets and livestock do not drink the water, swim through algal blooms, scum, or mats, or lick their fur after going in the water. Rinse pets in clean water to remove algae from fur.

Avoid wading, swimming, or jet or water skiing in water containing algae blooms, scum, or mats.
Do not drink, cook, or wash dishes with untreated surface water from these areas under any circumstances. Common water purification techniques such as camping filters, tablets, and boiling do not remove toxins.
Do not eat mussels or other bivalves collected from these areas. Limit or avoid eating fish. If fish are consumed, remove the guts and liver and rinse filets in clean drinking water. No fish should be consumed under a danger advisory.
Get medical treatment immediately if you think that you, a family member, friend, pet, or livestock might have been poisoned by blue-green algae toxins. Be sure to alert medical professionals to the possible contact with blue-green algae. Also, make sure to contact the local county public health department.
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