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  • Writer's pictureMLWA 7

Toxic blue algae found in Moses Lake. GCHD says to avoid lake contact

- Moses Lake, WA

On Tuesday the Grant County Health District (GCHD) collected water samples from Moses Lake in response to a suspect blue-green algae bloom after receiving reports from concerned citizens and reports of illness and rashes after swimming in the lake.

The samples came back with a toxin level ranging 106 and 190μg/L, which is higher than the Washington State recreational guidelines of 6μg/L for microcystin toxins. The sample was collected from Blue Heron (106μg/L) and Connelly parks (190μg/L). It is reasonable to assume that blue-green algae could be present in all parts of Moses Lake. GCHD has posted warning signs around Moses Lake that will be up until the lake is clear of the toxic algae

.The health district volunteers from the Cyanobacteria Surveillance by Citizens, Users, and Managers (CSCUM) monitoring group will continue testing the lake every two weeks throughout the season. Email if you are interested in joining CSCUM and assist GCHD by collecting water samples.

GCHD is advising:

• Avoid all contact with Moses Lake water areas o Including recreational water activities (skiing, wakeboarding, etc.)

• Do not drink the lake water

• Keep all pets & livestock away from the lake water

• Clean fish caught in Moses Lake well and discard their guts

Sampling activities are currently being coordinated through the CSCUM group overseen by GCHD; GCHD does not need any more volunteers to sample at this time. Sampling resources are limited this year, so please contact GCHD for sampling information.

Weekly sample results will be posted to the GCHD website at

Health & Safety Information: The type of blue-green algae that is present in Moses Lake produces Microcystin toxin, which can cause serious illness in people, pets, and livestock.

Symptoms may take 30 minutes to 24 hours to appear, depending upon the size of the person or animal affected and the amount of toxic bloom consumed. Microcystin toxicosis may include allergic reactions from rashes to gastrointestinal distress from nausea/vomiting, abdominal pain/distention,

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