The Department of Water Resources is urging the public to stay out of Pyramid Lake after dangerous levels of blue-green algae were detected in its waters.
DWR issued a caution advisory Friday, warning that the lake contained “22.8 micrograms per liter of microcystins,” toxins that can cause liver illness, as well as irritation to skin, eyes, and throats, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
The warning does not apply to Castaic Lake, and swimming is allowed in Castaic Lake’s lagoon, DWR said.
DWR offered the following guidelines for anyone who may have been exposed to blue-green algae:
Take care that pets and livestock do not drink the water, swim through algal blooms, scum, or mats, or lick their fur after going in the water. Rinse pets in clean water to remove algae from fur.
Avoid wading, swimming, or jet or water skiing in water containing algae blooms, scum, or mats.
Do not drink, cook, or wash dishes with untreated surface water from these areas under any circumstances. Common water purification techniques such as camping filters, tablets, and boiling do not remove toxins.
Do not eat mussels or other bivalves collected from these areas. Limit or avoid eating fish. If fish are consumed, remove the guts and liver and rinse filets in clean drinking water.
Get medical treatment immediately if you think that you, a family member, friend, pet, or livestock might have been poisoned by blue-green algae toxins. Be sure to alert medical professionals to the possible contact with blue-green algae. Also, make sure to contact the local county public health department.