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Utah Lake under a Warning Advisory for Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs)

Utah Lake

Lincoln Marina, Utah Lake. Click for larger view.

The Utah County Health Department has issued a Warning Advisory for harmful algal blooms (HABs) for all of Utah Lake. High cyanobacteria cell counts and toxin exceedances at locations on the east and west sides of the lake support satellite imagery showing that the bloom is now lakewide.

Cyanobacteria cell count densities in samples collected on July 30 and 31, 2018, exceeded the recreation health-based threshold in all but two sampling sites. Cell counts were especially high at Sandy Beach (over 2.5 million cells per milliliter (cells/ml), Lincoln Marina (over 6.5 million cells/ml), and Saratoga Springs Marina (over 1.4 million cells/ml).

Toxin test results from the Utah Public Health Lab (UPHL) showed microcystin levels >5 micrograms per liter (µg/L) at Sandy Beach, Lincoln Marina, and the Saratoga Springs Marina. These levels exceed the recreational health-based threshold for microcystin. UPHL will conduct additional dilutions/testing to determine the actual levels of microcystin since the toxin concentrations are greater than the upper limits of the test.

DWQ monitoring crews have visited the lake several times this week. Data from these latest samples should be available early next week.

Warning Advisory for Utah Lake

Satellite imagery shows the Utah Lake bloom spreading across the entire lake. Portions in red and dark red indicate high cyanobacteria cell counts

A Warning Advisory indicates a moderate relative probability of acute health risk, cyanobacteria cell-count density of 20,000 – 10 million cells per milliliter (cells/ml), microcystin levels of 4-2,000 micrograms per liter (µg/L), or anatoxin-a levels above non-detect. Advisory actions:

  • Do not swim or water ski
  • Do not ingest the water
  • Keep pets and livestock away
  • Clean fish well and discard guts
  • Avoid areas of scum when boating