COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — A popular fishing spot in Colorado Springs tested positive for a species of algae harmful to humans and pets.
The Pikeview Reservoir located in central Colorado Springs tested positive Friday for blue-green algae, also known as Cyanobacteria. While the reservoir is still safe for fishing, humans and pets are prohibited from entering the water until it is cleared.
“We decided to go ahead and implement our strategy of removing it from the source and start posting signage to let people know this is occurring,” Lisa Walters, Source Water Protection specialist at Colorado Springs Utilities said.
The reservoir’s water is mainly used as a water source for the city but is now closed off until the supply is clear of algae. Walters said the city’s water supply is not affected. She said the toxic bacteria can be harmful to both humans and pets if ingested or touched.
“With those toxins, if you contact it with your skin you could have irritation of your skin, you’ll have rashes,” Walters said. “But if you ingest it that’s where it could actually impair your health.”
Sickness including nausea, vomiting, rash, irritated eyes, seizures, and breathing problems could occur following exposure to the blue-green algae in the water. Anyone with symptoms after exposure should contact their doctor or veterinarian.
Walters said the water is still okay to fish in, as long as you clean the fish thoroughly.
She said algae is becoming more common across the state, caused by hot weather and stagnant water.
“When we are concerned about it though is when it starts to come out of balance and starts to bloom and actually we see high increase levels of it,” Walters said.
Colorado Springs Utilities will continue to test each of their reservoirs monthly and Pikeview Reservoir will be tested weekly.
For updates on Pikeview Reservoir’s water conditions, you can visit their website.