As you’ve likely heard by now Utah Lake has been shut down due to an algal bloom. Here are some quick facts for all of us to review as we wait for the lake to open again:
What is an algal bloom?
An algal (pronounced with a hard “g”) bloom is an accelerated accumulation of algae in a body of water. Due to the presence of cyanobacteria, the bloom has the appearance of blue-green paint, and texture of scum.
How does it happen?
When certain levels of temperature, sunlight, nutrients and oxygen align, blooms like this can natural occur. *
Is it common?
Yes, algal blooms are quite common—both for fresh and marine water environments. They occur all over the world including other bodies of water in Utah.
Is it toxic?
Concentrated levels of cyanobacteria can be toxic to humans, waterfowl and fish, as well as an animal that comes in contact with the affected water.
How long will it take to clear out?
While there is no way to exactly determine how quickly the bloom will clear, there is no reason to believe this will be a long closure.
How can I learn more?
The Utah Lake State Park website is informative. See their post here.
The Utah Department of Environmental Quality is keeping an updated blog of the situation—including information on human and animal safety.
To learn more about algal blooms try this Q & A website: env.gov.nl.ca/env/faq/algae/generel.html
*information from http://www.utahlake.gov/algae-bloom-at-utah-lake/