MANTUA – The North Beach of the Mantua Reservoir has been closed and a warning advisory issued for the rest of the reservoir due to harmful algal blooms.
According to the Bear River Health Department, recent samples collected in the reservoir showed high cyanobacteria cell-count densities.
BRHD Environmental Health Director, Grant Koford, said people should take the warning seriously.
“The whole reservoir is not closed, just that North Beach area,” said Koford. “It’s significant enough that we want the public to be aware of using the beach. Don’t swim in the beach right there or have any other water activity in the beach area.”
Koford said there are posted signs around the reservoir to alert the public about the closure. There will be no active enforcement, he said. “It’s user beware. We just want the public to be aware there is a health concern along that area.”
Samples are taken weekly and the Department of Environmental Quality will be “taking samples further out in the water to get an indication of what kind of cell count we have further out. It’s due to the sunlight and the phosphorus levels in the water. There’s plenty of phosphorus in that area from field and fertilizers and things like that that run into the reservoir every spring,” said Koford.
It takes a couple of weeks to process those samples, so the beach will be closed at least until the end of September, according to Koford.
A warning advisory went out on the entire Mantua reservoir August 20, and that warning remains in effect.
Cyanobacteria from harmful algal blooms can cause rashes, respiratory problems, stomach aches and other issues.
Koford said pets and livestock should also be kept away from the beach.
“The same warning goes out for animals,” he said. “Keep animals away from the water. Animals get in the water and it gets on their coat and they lick it.”
Fish caught from the lake need to be cleaned well and boaters are asked to avoid scummy areas.
North Beach is located on the west side of the reservoir, just north of the boat dock.