Forest Service confirms presence of toxic green algae bloom at Bartlett Reservoir Lake

Jun 21, 2023, 3:00 PM | Updated: 3:44 pm

Bartlett Dam and Bartlett Lake...

Bartlett Dam and Bartlett Lake(Salt River Project Photo/File)

(Salt River Project Photo/File)

PHOENIX — The U.S. Forest Service is warning visitors to avoid contact with water after testing algae in Bartlett Reservoir Lake in Tonto National Forest.

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality confirmed the presence of blue-green algae that can produce harmful toxins, according to a post on the U.S. Forest Service – Tonto National Forest’s Facebook page Wednesday.

Last week, environmental officials warned recreationists of possible harmful algae bloom at the lake.

The Forest Service confirmed algae at all test sites including shoreline recreation areas and the main body of the lake.

They are working with local experts to conduct more testing to determine if and to what extent, the algae are producing toxins, the post said.

Forest Service officials said all lake recreation sites are open including picnic sites, boat launches, the Bartlett Lake Marina and camping areas.

Visitors are advised to avoid bodily contact with the water, including swimming, washing and cooking with lake water.

Here are the symptoms of algae exposure:

  • irritation of skin, eyes, nose and throat
  • ingesting contaminated water can cause headache, dizziness, muscle weakness, nausea, stomach pain and diarrhea.

Anyone experiencing symptoms should contact a health provider or Maricopa County Public Health at 602-506-6767 or click here.

Follow-up testing will be done and results are expected in the next three to four days.

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Forest Service confirms presence of toxic green algae bloom at Bartlett Reservoir Lake