Closed to Full-Body Contact
There is an increasing occurrence of toxic blue-green algae in reservoirs across the United States this year, forcing the limitation of recreational access to the bodies of water for public safety.
In a recent test at Pikeview Reservoir, a popular fishing lake in central Colorado Springs and part of our water system, the bacteria was identified.
- While the reservoir is still safe for fishing, as a precautionary measure, humans and pets are prohibited from entering the water until further notice. Anglers are directed to thoroughly clean fish and discard guts.
- We have removed Pikeview as a source for drinking water until the reservoir is determined to be clear of the algae. There are no concerns about this affecting water supply for our community.
- Presumptive testing has indicated levels of less than 5 mcg/L.
Sickness including nausea, vomiting, rash, irritated eyes, seizures and breathing problems could occur following exposure to the blue-green algae in the water. Anyone suspicious of exposure with onset of symptoms should contact their doctor or veterinarian. For questions regarding health impacts of exposure, contact the El Paso County Health Department or Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
Warming temperatures have contributed to the growth of the bacteria.
We conduct more than 400 water quality tests a month and collect approximately 12,000 water samples throughout our water system annually.
We are now testing reservoirs at lower elevations, with increased risk of the blue-green algae, at an increased frequency.
It is our responsibility to provide safe, reliable drinking water to our community and to always consider public safety at our reservoirs.