TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KLIX)-The health district in the Magic Valley issued a warning for Salmon Falls Creek Reservoir as tests confirmed a harmful algal bloom. The South Central Public Health District announced Tuesday afternoon issued a public health advisory for the reservoir after tests by the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality confirmed unhealthy levels of cyanotoxin, Microcystin in the water. The toxins are caused by what is called harmful algal blooms or HABs. Exposure to the toxic blooms can cause serious illness in people and pets. “It’s important that you keep family and pets away from the water where there is an active harmful algal bloom,” said Josh Jensen, SCPHD environmental health division director in a prepared statement. “The toxins in a HAB reservoir can irritate your skin, eyes, and ears and cause neurological and gastrointestinal problems if they get inside your body.” The HABs usually shrink as the temperature drops in the fall.
The health district provided the following tips concerning HABs:
• 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