El Paso County tests park ponds for blue-green algae

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The water along the shore of Utah Lake is shown Wednesday, July 20, 2016, near American Fork, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. — After two Colorado Springs lakes were closed due to the presence of toxic blue-green algae, the El Paso County parks department is proactively testing the water at five county parks.

The county said they gathered water samples from six bodies of water on Monday. They sent the samples to the state health department in Denver for testing. The parks department said they’re hoping to receive the results later this week.

“We are not aware of any blue-green algae in lakes or ponds in our County Parks, but to be safe, we’re testing,” the county said in a statement.

Park staff sampled water from Willow Springs Ponds, Duckwood Pond in Fountain Creek Regional Park, the pond in Fox Run Regional Park, Drake Lake, and the pond at Homestead Ranch Regional Park.

Park staff didn’t test any flowing creeks, because the state health department said the algae grows only in slow-moving bodies of water, like lakes.

Two Colorado Springs lakes–Prospect Lake and Pikeview Reservoir–are closed after testing positive for the algae, which can be toxic to both humans and pets.

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