The Oregon Public Health Division and the Douglas County Health Department are issuing a health advisory for the South Umpqua River near Myrtle Creek because of high algae levels.
Health workers say they began testing the water after reports that a pet dog had died in the area and after seeing algae scum. They say those tests confirmed that there is blue-green algae in the water. Health workers say the algae can produce toxins that are dangerous to humans and animals.
Health workers are advising against swallowing or inhaling water droplets and skin contact with the water. They also say that the toxins cannot be removed by boiling or filtering, so drinking the water should be avoided.
It is strongly recommended that anyone who draws in-home water directly from the South Umpqua River near Myrtle Creek should use an alternative water source because health workers say private treatment systems cannot completely remove the algae toxins.
For more information on the high algae alert, call the Harmful Algae Bloom Surveillance program at 971-673-0400 or go to www.healthoregon.org/hab. Or contact the Oregon Public Health Division at 1-877-290-6767 or the Douglas County Health Department at 541-440-3686.
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