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DHS news release

Sept. 17, 2004

Contact: Jim Sellers (503) 945-5738

Technical contacts: Ken Kauffman, DHS (503) 731-4012; Dan Peddycord, Deschutes County Health Department (541) 322-7426

 

Health advisory lifted at Paulina Lake in Deschutes County


A public health advisory for Paulina Lake south of Bend, in effect since Sept. 3, was lifted today by the Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS) and Deschutes County Health Department, in cooperation with the U.S. Forest Service.

Recent sampling of algae from the lake indicated that the Anabaena flos aquae bloom has dissipated. It is hoped that no further blooms will occur in the lake this season, said Ken Kauffman, DHS environmental health specialist.

Water contact activities, fishing and other recreational activities in and on the lake can safely resume, Kauffman said.

During the bloom, Anabaena flos aquae concentrations reached more than 1.2 million cells per milliliter of lake water, or 82 times the DHS advisory threshold of 15,000 cells/ml. Anabaena flos aquae organisms can produce toxins that affect the liver and nervous systems of humans and animals.

After two weeks of low cell counts, Kauffman said, advisories generally can be safely lifted. Water samples taken last week indicated that Anabaena flos aquae concentrations had dropped below the threshold and this week's samples confirmed it.

Kauffman said that monitoring of the lake will continue and the public will be advised if new algae concerns develop.

Additional information about blue-green algae can be found at the DHS public health advisories Web site, or by calling the contact persons indicated above. Local information may be obtained by calling the local U.S. Forest Service office or the Deschutes County Health Department at (541) 322-7426.