Magic Reservoir tests positive for toxic blue-green algae bloom

Published: Aug. 9, 2019 at 5:07 PM MDT
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Water quality officials have found a harmful algal bloom at a third south-central Idaho reservoir.

On Friday, the South Central Public Health District and the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality issued a public health advisory for Magic Reservoir.

Water samples taken by DEQ showed high concentrations of cyanobacteria, also referred to as blue-green algae in the reservoir. The levels are at an unhealthy level and have formed a harmful algae bloom.

Magic Valley Reservoir follows ongoing advisories at Salmon Falls and Mormon Creek reservoirs, which tested positive for cyanobacteria in July.

“We are issuing an advisory because these toxins can be so damaging- especially for animals who drink or play in the water,” said Brianna Bodily, SCPHD Public Information Officer in a news release. “Until this advisory is lifted we urge you to choose a different reservoir to fish and recreate in.”

The public is advised to take the following steps to protect their health in all three reservoirs:

• Avoid exposure to water in reservoirs under a HAB health advisory. Make sure children, pets, and livestock are not exposed to the water.

• Do not drink water with a HAB advisory. Boiling and disinfecting DO NOT remove toxins from water.

• Do not allow pets to eat dried algae

• If fishing in HAB water, remove all fat, skin, and organs before cooking. Toxins are more likely to collect in those tissues. Wash hands after handling.

The public can report suspicious looking water to the DEQ by phone, email or the bloomWatch app.