Green Guide

Toxic algae discovered in waterways off Lake Tahoe

Posted August 31

— Water officials are continuing to monitor toxic blue-green algae that developed in several waterways in a residential community in South Lake Tahoe.

The algae discovered in recent weeks caused officials to post signs warning residents to stay away from the water. Tahoe Keys Property Owners Association's water quality team tested the water and found low levels of toxins Anatoxin-A and microcystins.

The Lahontan Water Board ran additional tests that supported the results. Doug Smith, the board's supervising engineering geologist, says a combination of warm temperatures, sunlight and nutrient-rich water can cause a rapid growth of the algae. The algae's toxins can cause illness in both people and animals.

Smith says he recommends the Property Owners Association keep the warning signs in place as the algae is monitored.

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