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Toxic algae prompts warning at Rockport

Image courtesy Summit County Health Department.

ROCKPORT — A symptom of summer has surfaced at Rockport Reservoir in Summit County.

The Utah Department of Environmental Quality said a team performing routine monitoring for E. coli bacteria at the lake observed evidence of a toxic algal bloom on Wednesday.

As a result, the Summit County Health Department has advised boaters and swimmers to avoid areas tainted with scum. People with pets are also warned not to allow their animals to swim in or drink from affected waters.

The algal bloom appeared to be concentrated near the reservoir’s inlet. A test sample taken from Rockport State Park Marina exceeded the threshold for microcystin. That’s a toxin created by blue-green algae.

DEQ said the bloom did not appear to be excessive, but its scientists were not able to tell if it extended into the open water of Rockport. Follow-up testing will occur next week.

Rockport remains open for recreational use in the meantime.

Toxic algal blooms have presented problems for many recreational waters in Utah in recent summers. That’s especially true for Utah Lake, which is currently under a similar advisory.