At certain times of the year blue-green algae, technically known as cyanobacteria, is present in the reservoir. The algae is made up of microscopic organisms that are naturally present in lakes and streams. Under certain conditions, blue-green algae can become abundant – especially in warm, shallow, undisturbed, nutrient-rich surface waters that receive a lot of sunlight. When this occurs, blue-green algae can form blooms that discolor the water, or produce floating mats or scums on the water’s surface. It may be a harmful blue-green algae bloom if the water is blue-green, green, yellow, white, brown, purple, or red, has a paint-like appearance, or if there is scum on the water surface. Blue-green algae has been confirmed in the Timnath reservoir in previous years – typically towards the end of summer and into early fall. Because direct contact can cause health issues in humans and animals, it is recommended that people and their pets avoid contact with the algae. The Town does not actively treat the algae. Please see the precautions about blue-green algae below.
- Do not drink water or cook with water from the reservoir.
- Keep children away from algae and scum in the water along the shoreline.
- Avoid contact with algae, scum and the water around it.
- Do not swim or wade near algae or scum.
- Clean fish well with fresh water and discard guts.
- Do not allow pets or livestock to enter or drink the water.
- If, after being in the reservoir, you or your animals have sudden or unexplained sickness, call your doctor or veterinarian.