Scooteney Reservoir closed to swimming - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Scooteney Reservoir closed to swimming

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KENNEWICK, WA — Benton-Franklin Health District has ordered the Scooteney Reservoir closed to swimming due to toxic levels of bacteria in the lake. Earlier this week, the Health District received notification from the Bureau of Reclamation about an algae bloom on the Scooteney Reservoir. Health District staff observed an extensive algae bloom and collected samples for testing. On Friday, August 4, 2017, test results indicated elevated levels of the toxin Microcystin, which is especially dangerous for small children and animals.

People and animals are exposed by ingesting the water. Symptoms may take 30 minutes to 24 hours to appear, depending upon the size of the person/animal affected and the amount of toxins consumed. Exposure may result in jaundice, shock, abdominal pain/distention, weakness, nausea/vomiting, severe thirst, rapid/weak pulse and death.

Scooteney Reservoir visitors are cautioned to keep children and pets out of the water until further testing shows the toxins reduced to safe levels. Typically, the toxin remains in the water for about a week after the bloom disappears. Exposure to Microcystin can be fatal.

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