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Utah APPLETREE Program


Protect Yourself

The best way to protect yourself and your pets is to stay out of the water and avoid any contact with contaminated water or scums. Follow advisories and closures posted by public health officials.

The following recommendations can help keep you, your family, and your pets safe from algal blooms:

  • Don’t swim in water that has an algal bloom.
  • Don’t boat, waterski, or jet-ski on scummy water. These activities cause the toxins to become airborne, increasing the likelihood that you will breathe them in.
  • Don’t let children play with scum in the water or along the shore.
  • Don’t let pets or livestock swim in or drink from scummy waters.
  • Always take a shower after coming into contact with any surface water regardless of whether an algal bloom appears to be present. Rinse animals immediately if they swim in scummy water and don’t let them lick their fur.
  • Don't wash dishes with water from areas with algal blooms.
  • Don't boil water in an attempt to remove toxins; boiling water may actually release more toxins.
  • Never drink untreated surface water, regardless of whether algae blooms are present. Untreated surface water may contain other bacteria, parasites or viruses, as well as algal toxins, that all could cause illness if consumed.
  • If your drinking water does not come from a public water supply, don’t drink surface water, even if it is treated, during an algal bloom. In-home treatments such as boiling or disinfecting water with chlorine, ultraviolet (UV) light, or water filtration units do not protect people from blue-green algal toxins.
  • Stop using the water and seek medical attention if symptoms such as vomiting; nausea; diarrhea; skin, eye, or throat irritation; allergic reactions; or breathing difficulties occur while in contact with untreated surface waters.