Warning About Algae In Detroit Lake Lifted

The Oregon Health Authority has lifted the recreational use health advisory issued May 23 for Detroit Lake, located 46 miles southeast of Salem. The lake spans both Linn and Marion counties.

Water monitoring has confirmed that the level of harmful algae toxins in the lake are below recreational guideline values for human exposure. However, Oregon health officials advise recreational visitors to always be alert to signs of harmful algae in all Oregon waters, because blooms can develop and disappear throughout the season. Only a fraction of the many lakes and waterways in Oregon are monitored for harmful algae by state, federal and local agencies; therefore, you are your own best advocate when it comes to keeping you and your family safe while recreating.

Detroit Lake is upstream of the source of drinking water for some public water systems. While the recreational advisory for Detroit Lake is being lifted, the drinking water advisory for vulnerable populations for the City of Salem will remain in place. The drinking water advisory levels for vulnerable populations are different for recreational use than for drinking water. The amount of water people incidentally swallow while recreating (swimming, water skiing, etc.) is much lower than when people use it as a primary drinking water source. For drinking water concerns, visit the City of Salem’s drinking water advisory webpage or the Oregon Health Authority’s Drinking Water Services webpage. You can also dial 211 for information on the drinking water advisory.

People and especially small children and pets should avoid recreating in areas where the water is foamy, scummy, thick like paint, pea-green, blue-green or brownish red in color, if a thick mat of blue-green algae is visible in the water, or bright green cells are suspended in the water column. If you observe these signs in the water you are encouraged to avoid activities that cause you to swallow water or inhale droplets, such as swimming or high-speed water activities.

For recreational health information, to report human or pet illnesses due to blooms or cyanotoxins in recreational waters, contact the Oregon Health Authority at 971-673-0440. For information about recreational advisories issued or lifted for the season, contact the Oregon Public Health toll-free information line at 877-290-6767 or visit the Harmful Algae Blooms website at http://healthoregon.org/hab and select “Algae Bloom Advisories.”

Source: Oregon Health Authority


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