The South Central Public Health District (SCPHD) and the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) are issuing a public health advisory today for Magic Reservoir. Results from recent DEQ water testing show the concentration of cyanobacteria (sometimes called blue-green algae) in the reservoir are now at unhealthy levels and have formed a harmful algal bloom (HAB). This is the third health advisory issued for a reservoir in south-central Idaho. The first was issued on July 8th for Salmon Falls Creek Reservoir, and is ongoing. The second advisory was issued July 25th for Mormon Reservoir, and is ongoing.
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.
“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. “Until this advisory is lifted we urge you to choose a different reservoir to fish and recreate in.”
HABs are not unusual in warm summer months and typically shrink quickly as the water temperature drops in mid to late fall. SCPHD will issue another press release when DEQ tests show Magic Reservoir, Mormon Reservoir, and Salmon Falls Creek Reservoir are at safe cyanotoxin levels again.
“You can help by reporting suspicious looking water to DEQ by phone, email, or with the bloomWatch app,” said Brian Reese, DEQ Water Quality Standards Analyst.
More information is available at https://www.deq.idaho.gov/water-quality/surface-water/recreation-health-advisories/cyanobacteria-harmful-algal-blooms/