The POA and Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District (EVMWD) took water samples from Happy Camp, Sierra Park, Indian Beach, and Sunset Beach. Lake Elsinore and San Jacinto Watersheds Authority (LESJWA) performed additional testing.
Test results show that all five areas tested on June 16 showed slightly elevated levels of microcystins and are at the caution level. Emerald Cove, located in the East Bay off Emerald Park on Gray Fox Drive, has been raised to a warning level due to testing performed by LESJWA on June 26.
Microcystins are toxins produced by cyanobacteria. Cyanobacteria are also known as blue-green algae and are ubiquitous in surface water when conditions are favorable for growth and formation of algal blooms.
Yellow caution signs are posted around Canyon Lake advising residents to use caution around all forms of algae. These signs remain posted year-round unless testing indicates higher levels of cyanobacteria, at which point orange or red signs are posted as appropriate. Orange warning level signs have been posted at and near Emerald Cove. All other areas tested remain at the yellow caution level.
Some general best practices guidelines regardless of any elevated test include:
Humans who drink or swim in water that contains high concentrations of cyanobacteria or cyanobacterial toxins may experience gastroenteritis, skin irritation, and allergic responses. In conjunction with the State Water Board and the Department of Water Resources, three levels of color-coded advisories have been established so visitors can be informed about the current water condition in a particular area.
Bloom conditions can change rapidly, and wind and waves may move or concentrate the bloom into different regions of the reservoir. The algal bloom can accumulate into mats, scum, or form foam at the surface and along the shoreline, and range in color from blue, green, white, or brown.
State guidelines on cyanobacteria and harmful algal blooms recommend the following precautionsbe taken in waters impacted by blue-green algae:
For additional information about harmful algal blooms, visit the California Department of Public Health or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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