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DHS news release

September 24, 2004

Contact: Bonnie Widerburg (503) 731-4180
Technical contacts: Ken Kauffman, DHS (503)-731-4012
Dan Peddycord, Deschutes County Health Dept. (541) 322-7426

Public health advisory lifted for Wickiup Reservoir, Deschutes County

The Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS) and Deschutes County Health Department, in cooperation with the U.S. Forest Service, today lifted the public health advisory at Wickiup Reservoir issued on Sept. 10.

Ken Kauffman, DHS environmental health specialist advises that water samples collected on Sept. 13 and Sept. 20 show continuing low levels of toxigenic algae.

The public health advisory restricting water contact was issued after it was found that levels of Anabaena flos aquae in the reservoir had exceeded 50,000 cells per milliliter of water. The advisory threshold for this species is 15,000 cells/ml.

Cell counts in the last two weeks have been less than 2000 cells/ml.Recreational water activities can safely resume without concerns about exposure to algal toxins, Kauffman said.

Monitoring of the reservoir will resume next spring when conditions again support the potential for a bloom.

There are no longer any health advisories in effect for Deschutes National Forest water bodies.

Additional information about blue-green algae can be found on the Web or by calling the contact persons indicated above. Local information may be obtained by calling the local US Forest Service office or the Deschutes County Health Department at (541) 322-7426.