High levels of toxic algae discovered at Pikeview Reservoir

Published: Aug. 14, 2019 at 2:47 PM MDT
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A second popular fishing lake in Colorado Springs has tested positive for blue-green algae. Pikeview Reservoir recently tested for the algae

was closed for the same thing.

Colorado Springs Utilities says the reservoir is still safe for fishing, but it's too dangerous for people and pets to enter the water. The reservoir has also been removed as a source for drinking water until its clear of the toxic bacteria.

There are no concerns about this affecting water supply for the community, the city said in a news release Wednesday.

“It’s our responsibility to provide safe, reliable drinking water to our community and to always consider public safety at our reservoirs. We will continue to closely monitor our reservoirs and take appropriate actions,” said Earl Wilkinson, chief water services officer.

Springs Utilities already conducts more than 400 water quality tests a month but will be upping the amount of testing at lower reservoirs. There has been an increase in blue-green algae in bodies of water across the U.S. this year, not just in Colorado Springs.

An environmental health and safety specialist previously told KKTV that blue-green algae are more common in warmer months or when water temperatures are warmer than usual, and particularly thrives in slow-moving water.

11 News spoke to a mother Tuesday who panicked after learning Prospect Lake had been closed for the algae.

"[My son] was in here, like, two weeks prior to it, and as soon as I heard that, I thought I would take him to the doctor because he has an open wound in the middle of his stomach," Jillian Garrette said.

Experts say to watch for the following symptoms if concerned about exposure: nausea, vomiting, rash, irritated eyes, seizures and breathing problems. The danger is greater if the water is ingested, but can still be dangerous if gets on skin, especially for dogs, which are prone to licking themselves.

Garrette's son was checked out and determined to be OK.

If you were in either affected reservoir recently and are concerned, contact your doctor.

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