[env-trinity] Siskiyou Daily News: High algae warnings issued

Jim Carpenter windhorse at jeffnet.org
Sun Sep 16 17:53:02 PDT 2012

No problemo,
Just spray the algaecide, kill the bloom and disperse the microcystins throughout the river.  Out of sight, out of mind.
Visit our Websites:
541 885 5450
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Tom Stokely 
  To: env-trinity at velocipede.dcn.davis.ca.us 
  Sent: Sunday, September 16, 2012 11:29 AM
  Subject: [env-trinity] Siskiyou Daily News: High algae warnings issued

  September 14. 2012 5:21PM

  High algae level warnings issued
  Matt, a rafter from Oregon, was enjoying the Klamath River on Thursday at the Tree of Heaven river access where algae warnings have been posted. He said he is unhappy with the water quality in the river but it wouldn't stop him from enjoying a beautiful day. Daily News Photo/John Bowman

  Blue-green algae blooms are again causing health risk warnings to be posted for recreators on Copco and Iron Gate reservoirs as well as the mainstem Klamath River.
  The North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board (NCRWQCB) has posted signs at reservoir access points and the Klamath National Forest has posted warnings at river access points along the river stating the health risks associated with direct contact and ingestion of the algae.
  According to water sampling results by state and tribal agencies, the cell counts of blue-green algae on the reservoirs and along the river's edge have exceeded World Health Organization and the State Water Resources Control Board's public health guideline levels.
  According to a press release from the NCRWQCB, "Cyanobacteria (Microcystis aeruginosa) cell counts and toxin levels in Copco Reservoir and toxin levels in Iron Gate Reservoir exceeded the public health advisory threshold during recent public health monitoring."
  The release advises, 
  "The algal blooms look like green, blue-green, white or brown foam, scum or mats floating on the water. Recreational exposure to toxic blue-green algae can cause eye irritation, allergic skin rash, mouth ulcer, vomiting, diarrhea, mouth ulcers, vomiting, diarrhea, and cold and flu-like symptoms. Liver failure, nerve damage and death have occurred in rare situations where large amounts of contaminated water were directly ingested."
  The blooms are among the water quality issues referenced by environmentalist and some government agencies when making the case for Klamath dam removal. Some dam removal opponents question the level of risk posed by the algae.
  The Siskiyou County Department of Public Health is not participating in the effort to warn citizens about potential health hazards posed by the algae blooms. However, the NCRWQCB, the California Department of Public Health and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are partnering in the effort.
  Siskiyou County Director of Public Health Terry Barber told the Daily News, "The county is on record as opposing the posting of blue-green algae warnings."
  She said the posting is voluntary and there are no laws or regulations stipulating when or if postings must occur.
  "The county doesn't have an active monitoring program for microcystis and the science doesn't support the theory that there is a strong risk," Barber said.
  However, Executive Officer of the NCRWQCB Matt St. John, said, "As blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) can pose health risks, especially to children and pets, we urge people to be careful where they swim when visiting Copco and Iron Gate reservoirs. We recommend that people and their pets avoid contact with the blooms, and particularly avoid swallowing or inhaling water spray in an algal bloom area."
  Statewide guidance on harmful algal blooms recommends the following:
  • Avoid wading and swimming in water containing visible blooms or water containing algae, scums or mats.
  • If no algae, scums or mats are visible, one should still carefully watch young children and warn them not to swallow the water.
  • Do not drink, cook or wash dishes with untreated surface water under any circumstances; common water purification techniques (e.g., camping filters, tablets) may not remove toxins.
  • People should limit or avoid eating fish. If fish are consumed, remove guts and liver, and rinse meat in clean drinking water.
  • Take care that pets and livestock do not drink the water or swim through heavy algae, scums or mats, nor lick their fur after going in the water. Rinse pets in clean drinking water to remove algae from fur.
  • One should get medical treatment immediately if pets or livestock might have been poisoned by blue-green algae toxins. Be sure to alert the medical professional of the possible contact with blue-green algae.
  While recreators are being warned of the health risks of direct contact with the algae, the NCRWQCB press release does state, "people can still visit Copco and Iron Gate reservoirs and enjoy camping, hiking, biking, canoeing, picnicking or other recreational activities, excluding direct contact with the algal bloom."


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