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Algal Blooms 2016

Report a Bloom

If you suspect that you have seen a harmful algal bloom, please call the 24-hour DEQ Spill Line: (801) 536-4123.

Report Financial Impact

Affected financially by a HAB? Please share any economic impact information with economists working with Salt Lake County Emergency Services and the Utah Division of Emergency Management. Your input may provide data to assist in exploring effective HAB mitigation strategies. Email Matt Beaudry with your name and phone number if you'd like to partner in this effort.


Individuals who believe they may be experiencing symptoms from exposure should contact the the Utah Poison Control Center at (800) 222-1222 immediately. Pet owners concerned about their animals should contact their veterinarian. Veterinarians or members of the public who would like to know more about symptoms or appropriate tests for animals who may have been exposed to harmful algae or cyanotoxins can consult these CDC materials for vets.

Harmful algal blooms (HABs) occur when cyanobacteria multiply quickly to form visible colonies or blooms. These blooms sometimes produce potent cyanotoxins that pose serious health risks to humans and animals. Conditions during the summer of 2016, including low water levels, abundant sunlight, high nutrient levels, warm water temperatures, and calm waters, have led to numerous algal blooms in Utah waterbodies. These blooms have been unprecedented in their size, scope, and severity.

The Division of Water Quality (DWQ) will continue to conduct extensive sampling of these blooms to track their progress, identify the cyanobacteria species responsible for individual blooms, analyze cyanobacteria cell concentrations, test for cyanotoxins, and chart trends. DWQ provides state and local agencies, particularly local health departments, with sampling test results to assist these agencies in making determinations about lake closures, secondary water usage, and allowable recreational uses of affected waterbodies.