Potential Health Risks Force Closure of Scofield Reservoir Due to Algal Bloom

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Press Release

SALT LAKE CITY – The Southeast Utah Health Department is restricting recreational use of Scofield Reservoir, starting immediately, due to harmful algal bloom that may pose a serious health risk to the public and animals. The Utah Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) said lab results for samples collected by DEQ indicate toxins present in the water.

The campground remains open.

“Camping can still be fun, but we warn campers and cabin and home owners to prevent pets’ access to the lake,” said David Cunningham, health officer with Southeast Utah Health Department. “The algal bloom is most dangerous to animals and we want to keep you and your pets safe. With the cooler temperatures and weather changes coming, the algae and toxin levels are anticipated to recede.”

“Our primary concern is always public safety and we support the Health Department’s decision to temporarily close the reservoir,” said Scofield State Park Manager Jonathan Hunt. “While this closure may be inconvenient to boaters and anglers planning to come here for the holiday weekend, we would encourage them to visit other state parks in the region like Huntington and Millsite State Parks.”

The Price River Water Improvement District (PRWID) has stated that the drinking water supply is carefully monitored and it recently installed the additional capability of treating the supply with ozone specifically to reduce and remove algae and its precursors.

Sampling in several areas will continue to ensure the safety of the drinking and agricultural water systems as the prevention of any toxins entering these systems are the highest priority.

For questions about exposure at Scofield Reservoir, call Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222 or the Southeastern Utah Health Department at 435-637-3671. For questions about the drinking water supply, please contact PRWID at 435-637-6351.

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