Toxic blue-green algae found in Russian River


SONOMA COUNTY (BCN) — Caution signs will be posted at 10 major Russian River beaches after lab tests detected after low levels of potentially harmful blue-green algae toxins were detected in certain areas of the river, Sonoma County Department of Health Services officials said Wednesday.

“Caution” is the lowest of three state recommended advisories, and the Russian River is still open for swimming and other recreational uses, health officials said.

Sonoma County Public Health Officer Dr. Karen Milman said Health Services officials have been watching the river’s water temperature and visually monitoring the river since July 17.

“When we noted conditions were present that could support rapid growth of algae, including blue-green algae, we started laboratory testing,” Milman said.

Caution signs are being posted because there could be a risk to pets and children. “Warning” and “Danger” signs are the two other advisories that prompt posting signage.

Laboratory testing will continue until there are two successive weeks of negative test results, according to the Department of Health Services.

Children and pets should be kept away from algae and avoid drinking of cooking with the water. People and pets in contact with the water should rinse off thoroughly with clean water.

Guts should be removed from fish caught in the river and fillets should be cleaned with tap or bottled water before cooking, Department of Health Services officials said.




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