Idaho Waters Dealing With Toxic Algae Bloom; DEQ Has App For That

Sep 10, 2018

Lake Lowell and Lake Cascade are the latest bodies of water in Idaho to have alerts issued regarding toxic algae. Five other waterways are also experiencing blooms of blue-green algae.
Credit MPCA Photos / Flickr

The state’s Department of Environmental Quality issued advisories for harmful algae blooms at two more Idaho lakes. The DEQ put out alerts for both Lake Cascade and Lake Lowell. The department is using technology to try and catch blooms early.

Not only are Lake Lowell and Lake Cascade under advisories, but five other Idaho bodies of water are also under active warnings for algae blooms.

The toxins created by the algae can impact humans in a variety of ways. Exposure can result in numbness, drowsiness, burning and respiratory issues. It can even be fatal if concentrations are high enough.

A DEQ release says algae blooms happen when high levels of nutrients are present in the water and temperatures change enough allowing the algae to spread unchecked.

In an effort to fight the algae, DEQ water quality analyst Brian Reese explains in an online video the agency is out with a digital tool to help investigate possible blooms.

“The bloomWatch app, which is available through Google Play store or iTunes, lets people take pictures and upload the pictures, and I get an email and I can look at them,” says Reese.

Like so many things: toxic algae – there’s an app for that.

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