ROCK SPRINGS– The Wyoming Department of Health (WDH) and the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) have issued an advisory for Big Sandy and Eden Reservoirs due to higher than normal levels of cyanobacteria — harmful algae blooms.
According to Dr. Stachon, Sweetwater County Health Officer, highly visible algae blooms are not unusual occurrences in still waters this time of year, especially when water temperatures have been high.
The dense accumulations of blue-green algae can produce harmful toxins that may cause rashes or illnesses in humans and pets.
The following is recommended:
- Avoid contact with water in the vicinity of the algae bloom, especially in areas where blue-green algae are dense and form scums.
- Do not drink or consume the water. Boiling, filtration and/or chlorination will not remove toxins and will not make the water safe for drinking.
- Caution should be taken when eating fish as health effects remain unknown. Rinse fish with clean water and eat only the fillet portion.
- Do not breathe water spray in areas of the bloom.
- Keep pets and livestock away from the water. Do not allow animals to drink the water, eat dried algae, or groom themselves after contact with the water.
- If people, pets, and livestock come into contact with a bloom, rinse off with clean water as soon as possible.
Seek medical attention or a veterinarian if a person or animal is experiencing adverse health effects after exposure to an algal bloom. Young children, pregnant women, people with weak immune systems and animals are especially at risk.
For More Information
Questions regarding symptoms related to an algal bloom can also be referred to the https://www.cdc.gov/habs/.
For more information, visit the DEQ’s HABs webpage at WyoHABs.org.
If you or your pets get sick after using the water, call your doctor, veterinarian or the Wyoming Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222.
Waterbodies under an ADVISORY are not closed. For more information, call the Wyoming Department of Health at 307-777-7656.