Tag: Algae

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Harmful Algal Blooms Home

Harmful algal blooms occur when normally occurring cyanobacteria in the water multiply quickly to form visible colonies or blooms. These blooms sometimes produce potent cyanotoxins that pose serious health risks to humans and animals. Although most algal blooms are not toxic, some types of cyanobacteria produce nerve or liver toxins. Toxicity is hard to predict …

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DEQ Budget Priorities 2018: Putting Our Values into Action

By Scott Baird The 2018 Utah Legislature kicks off its 45-day session today, marking the start of an exciting and occasionally hectic time for all of us at the Utah Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). Although we are neutral players in the legislative process, our directors and scientists are available 24/7 to answer questions, provide …

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Planning, Preparation Help DEQ Keep Tabs on HABs

By Suzan Tahir Some of you might have heard about harmful algal blooms (HABs), and some of you might not…yet. But HABs are happening nationwide, mostly in the warm summer months. As you know, we have trillions of bacteria (good bacteria and bad bacteria) living in our gut (gastrointestinal tract), and they coexist until something …

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Utah Poison Control Tackles Toxins during 2016 Algal Blooms

By Barbara Crouch, Guest Blogger DEQ invites guest bloggers to share their thoughts on issues that impact our environment. We appreciate their insights and the opportunity to broaden the conversation with others in the community. Most people think of the Utah Poison Control Center (UPCC) as the go-to resource if their child/grandchild puts something in …

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DEQ’s Budget Priorities Reflect Our Values

By Scott Baird The 2017 Utah Legislature kicked off its 45-day session last week, marking the start of an exciting and occasionally hectic time for all of us at the Utah Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). Although we are neutral players in the legislative process, our directors and scientists are available 24/7 to answer questions, …

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Spills: Welcome to the Big Leagues, Rookie

By Kevin Okleberry It was on a bright Monday morning, July 11, 2016, when I walked into the Multi-Agency State Office Building in west Salt Lake City to begin my new job as the Spills Coordinator for the Department of Environmental Quality’s (DEQ’s) Division of Water Quality (DWQ). I was a bit nervous, but also …

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Ask DEQ, not Phil.

By:  Amy Christensen Two years ago, the Utah Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) had some very astute hunches that were confirmed by comprehensive state-wide research. Of the over 600 Utah households surveyed, only three percent could name DEQ as an environmental entity, and even less knew anything about what we do. By finding a way to …

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Predicting Harmful Algal Blooms through New Technologies

By Ben Holcomb Harmful algal blooms have been in the news a lot lately, from the massive scums lining the Florida coast to the blue-green mats that covered Utah Lake and forced its closure. Predicting when these blooms will occur is one of the greatest challenges we face at the Division of Water Quality (DWQ). …

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Harmful Algal Bloom or Green Ooze? Call DEQ

By Donna Kemp Spangler It was like a scene from Ghostbusters: a mysterious green ooze was bubbling up from a street drain in a Bluffdale neighborhood on July 21, prompting a social media frenzy that it was somehow connected to the harmful algal bloom that had engulfed Utah Lake and spread throughout the Jordan River …

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Harmful Algal Blooms: When It Isn’t Good to Be Green

Interview with Ben Holcomb If you’ve ever recreated at one of Utah’s lakes or reservoirs, you’ve probably seen areas where greenish scum was floating on the water or collecting on the shore. What you probably didn’t know — at least until this past week with the closure of Utah Lake — was that this bright-green water …

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Water Quality: Sampling Confirms Toxic Bloom

By Hilary Arens If you’ve ever recreated at one of Utah’s lakes or reservoirs during the late summer or early fall, you’ve probably seen areas where greenish scum was floating on the water or collecting on the shore. What you probably didn’t know was that this bright-green water is a sign of an algal bloom. …

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Water Quality: Holding the line on Nutrient Pollution

By John Mackey So what is it about nutrients in our water that’s such a big deal? The waters I recreate in aren’t green and soupy; in fact, they look pretty good and have plenty of fish. If I opened the tap and my water was cloudy or had a peculiar smell, I would be …

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