LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Southern California’s largest lake will reopen to recreation Friday (July 27) after water quality tests confirmed the potential health effects of a large bloom of cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, have diminished, Metropolitan Water District officials announced today.
Recreational activities, including boating, fishing and hiking, had been suspended at Diamond Valley Lake near Hemet in southwest Riverside County since June 21 after the cyanotoxins, produced by a bloom of cyanobacteria, were detected.
The blue-green algae bloom—one the largest ever experienced at the lake since it opened to the public for recreation in October 2003—produced large areas of green water and mats of green scum floating on the lake.
Blue-green algae blooms are common this time of year because of the warm weather. During the current episode, the bloom released cyanotoxins, which in high concentrations can be harmful to humans and animals, especially when ingested.
“These blooms are naturally occurring. And with time they naturally dissipate. We have been regularly testing the lake water to ensure its safety, and we’re pleased that the cyanotoxin levels have decreased,” said Dr. Mic Stewart, Metropolitan’s water quality manager.
Despite the improved conditions, Metropolitan advises Diamond Valley Lake visitors, particularly children, to stay away from any remaining algae or green material in the lake and on the shore. Visitors also are instructed not to let their service animals drink lake water or swim in the lake. Swimming and other body contact activities in the lake, Metropolitan’s largest storage reservoir, are always prohibited.
Any fish caught at the lake should be cleaned with tap or bottled water before cooking, and the guts of fish thrown away. Metropolitan water quality experts, however, assured the public that the quality of the district’s treated drinking water has not been affected.
Visit dvlake.com for more information about Diamond Valley Lake and lake conditions.
The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is a state-established cooperative of 26 cities and water agencies serving nearly 19 million people in six counties. The district imports water from the Colorado River and Northern California to supplement local supplies, and helps its members to develop increased water conservation, recycling, storage and other resource-management programs.