Newman Lake Harmful Algae Alert
Kelli Hawkins | [email protected] | 509.324.1539, c.509.994.8968
SRHD advises the public to take precautions
SPOKANE, Wash. – Based on guidance from the Spokane Regional Health District (SRHD), Spokane County Environmental Programs issued an algae alert harmful to Lake Newman after test results this week revealed potentially toxic levels harmful to cyanobacteria, also known as harmful algal blooms (HABs) or blue-green algae.
According to recreation guidelines from the Washington State Department of Health, Spokane County and SRHD strongly advise that recreation in Newman Lake cease until further notice. At present, there are no known illnesses in humans or animals. Water quality monitoring and testing will continue on a weekly basis to confirm that a HAB is still present. Signage at the lake will be updated once toxicity levels are within acceptable limits. Test results are available here: https://www.nwtoxicalgae.org/Default.aspxk.
If people choose to eat fish from the lake, it is recommended that you remove all fat, skin, and organs before cooking, as toxins are more likely to build up in these tissues.
Symptoms of exposure to algal toxins vary with exposure. Symptoms include rash, hives, diarrhea, vomiting, coughing, and / or wheezing. More serious symptoms affecting the liver and nervous system may result from ingestion of water. If symptoms persist, see your health care provider.
The Spokane area has many water bodies available for recreation, however, there is a potential risk of pathogens such as swimmer itch, harmful algal blooms or bacterial infections that can cause health problems. and diseases. This summer’s extreme heat and below normal water levels can create the perfect environment for organisms to thrive and multiply easily.
Community members are encouraged to take the following precautions when choosing a water body for recreation:
- Pay attention to signage and do not swim in water that has a health notice or is listed as having toxic algae blooms on the water. Washington State Toxic Algae Tracking Site.
- Avoid standing water, containing dead fish or other aquatic animals, or containing large amounts of algae.
- Do not swim or play in water near sewers or other drains, or in areas frequented by livestock or other land animals.
- Do not swim nearby or play in swampy areas where snails are commonly found.
After following the above precautions, it is always safer for a person to avoid getting water in their mouth and nose and to stay out of the water if they have any open wounds, sores. or diarrhea. People swimming or playing in the water should shower with soap and water when finished and contact a healthcare practitioner immediately if they become ill or have symptoms of infection. If anyone suspects that the water contains toxic algal blooms, they are encouraged to travel to Washington State. toxic algae monitoring site to find out how to report it.
“We are fortunate to have so many beautiful lakes and rivers in our area,” says Mike LaScuola, SRHD Environmental Health Specialist. “We just want to make sure that everyone is prepared to choose the safest place and to avoid any risk to themselves, their loved ones and their pets.”
More information on harmful algal blooms can be found on the SRHD website.