Oregon lifts health advisory for Dorena Reservoir as toxic algae levels decrease

Dorena Reservoir outside Cottage Grove, Oregon. (SBG)

COTTAGE GROVE, Ore. - A health advisory for toxic algae at Dorena Reservoir has been lifted, the Oregon Health Authority said Friday.

The state had issued a warning June 13 not to have contact with the water in the reservoir 6 miles east of Cottage Grove due to a cyanobacteria bloom.

"Water monitoring has confirmed that the level of cyanotoxins (harmful algae toxins) in the reservoir are below recreational guideline values for human exposure," the state said in a statement.

"However, OHA officials advise recreational visitors to always be alert to signs of a cyanobacteria (harmful algae) blooms in all Oregon waters, because blooms can develop and disappear throughout the season. Only a fraction of the many lakes and waterways in Oregon are monitored for cyanobacteria by state, federal and local agencies, therefore, you are your own best advocate when it comes to keeping you and your family safe while recreating."

People and especially small children and pets should avoid recreating in areas where the water is foamy, scummy, thick like paint, pea-green, blue-green or brownish red in color, if a thick mat of blue-green algae is visible in the water, or bright green cells are suspended in the water column. If you observe these signs in the water you are encouraged to avoid activities that cause you to swallow water or inhale droplets, such as swimming or high-speed water activities.

Toxic algae is to blame for ongoing concern about drinking water in the state capital of Salem.

MORE | Oregon water scare: Algae blooms happening more often

And health officials have put a permanent advisory in place on the South Umpqua River.

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