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Utah Lake Algal Bloom Monitoring 2020

Warning Advisory

  • Do not swim or water ski in this area.
  • Avoid areas of algae scum when boating.
  • Keep animals away.
  • Do not ingest the water.
  • Clean fish well and discard guts.
Due to state budget cuts, the harmful algal bloom program is being funded by EPA through a one-time grant. This limits DWQ’s monitoring to 18 priority waterbodies in Utah.

Utah County Alerts

To sign up for updates go to alerts.utahcounty.gov and create an account. Select contact methods. Create a profile, select location. Choose alert subscription “Utah Lake” under “Utah County Alerts.”

Report a Bloom

24-Hour DEQ Environment Incidents Line: (801) 536-4123

Call Utah Poison Control Center

If you believe you or your pet have been exposed to a harmful algal bloom, call (800) 222-1222.

Update July 31, 2020

green harmful algal bloom scum in Utah Lake waterDivision of Water Quality (DWQ) monitoring crews collected samples at a variety of Utah Lake locations on July 14, 2020, and July 20, 2020. Toxin test results showed microcystin levels exceeding the recreational health-based thresholds in surface and water column samples at Lincoln Marina/Lincoln Beach and in surface samples at the beach inside Lindon Marina.

DWQ monitoring crews observed blooms throughout the lake and noted that the blooms increased in magnitude between July 14, 2020, and July 20, 2020. Blooms resembled grass clippings and spilled paint, with isolated clumps observed in the water column and the water surface.

DWQ is using two different toxin testing methods this season: enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LCMS). The tables below note the method used for each sample, denoted by (E) for ELISA and (L) for LCMS.

The Warning Advisory for Lincoln Marina, Lindon Marina, and American Fork Marina remains in place.

A Warning Advisory indicates a moderate relative probability of acute health risk, toxigenic cyanobacteria cell densities between 100,000 and 10,000,000 cells per milliliter (cells/mL), microcystin levels between 8 and 2,000 micrograms per liter (µg/L), cylindrospermopsin levels greater than 15µg/L, or anatoxin-a levels from 15 µg/L to 90 µg/L.

Sample Date: July 20, 2020
Toxin levels shown in micrograms per liter (µg/L)
Sample Site Sample Type Microcystin Anatoxin-a Cylindrospermopsin Nodularin
Jordan River Narrows Water column 0.2 µg/L (E) Not tested Not tested Not tested
Entrance of American Fork Marina Water column 0.66 µg/L (E) Not tested Not tested Not tested
Lindon Marina Surface 23.3 µg/L (E) Not tested Not tested Not tested
Lindon Marina Water column 1.64 µg/L (E) Not tested Not tested Not tested
Open Water, Two miles west of Vineyard Water column 0.29 µg/L (E) Not tested Not tested Not tested
Open Water, Two miles west of Vineyard Water column <0.5 µg/L (L) <0.5 µg/L <0.5 µg/L <0.5 µg/L
Open Water, One mile west of Provo Harbor Water column 0.58 µg/L (E) Not tested Not tested Not tested
Lincoln Marina Surface 464 µg/L (E) Not tested Not tested Not tested
Lincoln Beach Surface 93.2 µg/L (E) Not tested Not tested Not tested
Lincoln Beach Water column 22.9 µg/L (E) Not tested Not tested Not tested
Sample Date: July 14, 2020
Toxin levels shown in micrograms per liter (µg/L)
Sample Site Sample Type Microcystin Anatoxin-a Cylindrospermopsin Nodularin
Open water outside American Fork Marina Water column 1.22 µg/L (E) Not tested Not tested Not tested
Open water outside American Fork Marina Water column 0.89 µg/L (L) <0.5 µg/L <0.5 µg/L <0.5 µg/L
Lindon Marina Water column <1.50 µg/L (E) Not tested Not tested Not tested
Middle Provo Bay Water column <1.50 µg/L (E) Not tested Not tested Not tested
One mile southeast of Bird Island Water column 0.33 µg/L (E) Not tested Not tested Not tested
Lincoln Marina Surface 180 µg/L (E) Not tested Not tested Not tested
Lincoln Marina Surface 193 µg/L (L) <0.5 µg/L <0.5 µg/L <0.5 µg/L
Lincoln Marina Water column 79.4 µg/L (E) Not tested Not tested Not tested
Lincoln Beach Water column 2.14 µg/L (E) Not tested Not tested Not tested
West of Lincoln Beach Water column 0.21 µg/L (E) Not tested Not tested Not tested

Update July 19, 2020

The Utah County Health Department (UCHD) issued a Warning Advisory on July 19, 2020, for Lincoln Marina after toxin test results from samples collected by the Division of Water Quality (DWQ) on July 14, 2020, showed microcystin levels exceeding the recreational health-based threshold for a Warning Advisory. Microcystin concentrations were 193.0 micrograms per liter (µg/L). The advisory threshold is 8.0 µg/L.

The DWQ monitoring crew will return to Utah Lake today to conduct follow-up sampling.

A Warning Advisory indicates a moderate relative probability of acute health risk, toxigenic cyanobacteria cell densities between 100,000 and 10,000,000 cells per milliliter (cells/mL), microcystin levels between 8 and 2,000 micrograms per liter (µg/L), cylindrospermopsin levels greater than 15µg/L, or anatoxin-a levels from 15 µg/L to 90 µg/L.

  • Sample date: July 14, 2020
  • Sample type: Surface sample
  • Microcystin: 193.0 micrograms per liter (µg/L)

Update July 10, 2020

The Utah County Health Department issued a Warning Advisory on July 10, 2020, for American Fork Marina and Lindon Marina after sample results collected by the Division of Water Quality (DWQ) in the open water between the two marinas on July 6, 2020, showed microcystin levels exceeding the recreational health-based threshold for a Warning Advisory.

The DWQ monitoring crew will return to Utah Lake next week to conduct a lakewide survey and collect follow-up samples in the area under the Warning Advisory.

A Warning Advisory indicates a moderate relative probability of acute health risk, toxigenic cyanobacteria cell densities between 100,000 and 10,000,000 cells per milliliter (cells/mL), microcystin levels between 8 and 2,000 micrograms per liter (µg/L), cylindrospermopsin levels greater than 15µg/L, or anatoxin-a levels from 15 µg/L to 90 µg/L.

  • Sample date: July 6, 2020
  • Sample type: Elbow-depth composite sample
  • Microcystin: 25.4 micrograms per liter (µg/L)
  • Anatoxin-a: <1.5 ug/L

Update July 9, 2020

Portions of Utah Lake are under a Health Watch after a Division of Water Quality (DWQ) monitoring team observed a water-column bloom in the open water between American Fork Marina and Lindon Marina on July 6, 2020. Another DWQ monitoring team observed a similar bloom at Sandy Beach on July 8, 2020. Samples were collected on both days, and results are pending.

A Health Watch is not a formal advisory level but rather an indicator that a bloom may exist or become more severe based on available information from the DEQ Division of Water Quality (DWQ) and Department of Health. Indicators can include visual reports. The Utah County Health Department and Utah State Parks have been notified.