Both DWR and California State Water Board Issue Annual Warnings Regarding Waterborne Illnesses
Jun 5, 2019 at 2:00pm
As the summer season begins to warm temperatures throughout the state, the risks of waterborne illnesses become an anticipated part of the landscape. Californians – and those visiting the Golden State for summer vacations and recreation – can safely pursue water activities and sports if you remain vigilant and heed warnings from the various authorities.
The state’s Department of Water Resources (DWR) regularly tests the State Water Project (SWP) water for algal toxins, also known of as Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) and/or blue-green algae. Multiple factors that can cause algae to grow, such as warm water temperature, calm conditions, and certain nutrients in the water. Blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) naturally occurs in lakes and can grow very rapidly to become an algal bloom.
Regardless of how or where it’s found DWR urges swimmers and boaters to take the necessary precautions and stay away from algae. Although some algae are harmless, certain types can produce toxins that can make people and animals sick. There is no way to tell if an algal bloom is toxic just by looking at it.
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