The Grant County Health Department has expanded an earlier toxic algae warning to include most of Moses Lake.
Earlier this week, a toxic algae warning issued
It's a situation that is very familiar in central and southeastern WA, cyanobacteria, or toxic algae blooms that form on lakes, ponds and other non-moving bodies of water.
Some have even formed along the shoreline of slower-moving water, such as the Columbia near Howard Amon Park in Richland. The Grant County Health Department (GCHD) says the following areas are now affected by this potentially harmful growth:
• "Lewis Horn – Recent lab results show toxin levels above the recreational threshold.
• Middle Moses Lake – Cyanobacteria blooms present. Will test again once blooms dissipate.
• Pelican Horn – Potential blooms observed in this area. GCHD staff will collect a sample this week.
• South Moses Lake - Cyanobacteria blooms present. Will test again once blooms dissipate."
According to the health department and the Grant County Sheriff's Office, this affects the vast majority of the recreation areas on the lake. Toxic algae can cause significant illness in people but especially can be fatal to dogs.
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Officials say it is likely other blooms may be present in other parts of the lake.
Earlier in 2023, and in 2022, several dogs who drank water tainted with the blue-green filmy coating from the Columbia by Richland died.
Toxic algae become a threat when it's fueled by excessive nutrients in the water, such as fertilizer or chemical runoffs, or other 'food' that causes them to grow too rapidly. It is also accelerated by warmer-than-normal temperatures in the water.