The Public Health – Idaho North Central District has issued a health advisory due to the presence of cyanobacteria, also known as a harmful algal bloom, at the Spring Valley Reservoir near Troy in Latah County.
Recent samples taken indicate concentrations of toxin-producing bacteria and toxins present that may cause illness to humans and animals. The public is urged to use caution when recreating in or near the water, especially when ingestion is at risk.
Cyanobacteria occur naturally in Idaho’s water bodies. When temperatures rise, cyanobacteria populations can bloom and release cyanotoxins, toxic chemical compounds, into the water that are harmful to people, pets, and livestock.
The blooms are generally green, or blue-green, and may form thick mats along shorelines that may resemble surface scum or pea soup and can have an unpleasant odor or stench.
Pets, children, the elderly, and people with compromised immune systems are most at-risk of harmful exposure.
Health officials say the public should heed precautions and avoid contact with the water in the impacted area.