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Utah News

Due To A Southern Utah Algae Bloom, Some Producers Have Been Asked To Seek New Water Sources

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Areas in the Virgin River in Southern Utah have tested positive for a toxic algae.

The recent algae bloom in the Virgin River in Zion National park was discovered after a dog died in the river. The bloom is something Bradie Jill Jones with the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food said is a result of a perfect storm of high temperatures and no rain.

"We're testing but it doesn't look like it's in every portion of the river looks like it may just be a problem every once in a while," Jones said. "So we're just encouraging (livestock producers) that if they have the ability to draw water from somewhere else to provide for their animals that they do so, but we're not requiring it.”

If livestock ingest this contaminated water, they can experience anything from  vomiting to convulsions and death.

Jones said there isn’t enough information to know whether or not crops will be impacted from being irrigated with water from the river.  

“Our main concern right now is the irrigators that may be out and may be exposing themselves to the waters that and we're just encouraging them to practice good hygiene and to not allow themselves to have exposure to the water,” explained Jones.

For more information on where these toxins are locates, go to deq.utah.gov/water-quality/harmful-algal-blooms-home.