Potentially toxic algae found in Willamette River, but levels not harmful

Potentially toxic algae found in Willamette, but levels low

PORTLAND, Ore. -- On Tuesday, scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey discovered blue-green algae in the south end of the Ross Island Lagoon.

A subsequent study of it under a microscope revealed it was the potentially toxic kind.

The Oregon Health authority says at this point the amount is too small to be considered a health concern.

"I'm not seeing anything at least right now that is alarming, but it tells us that they're there and if current conditions continue like this warm weather, and what not, then there could potentially be a bloom at some point this summer," said Rebecca Hillwig, natural resource specialist with OHA.

OHA and the Department of Environmental Quality are monitoring the algae. If it does grow into a large bloom, they will send teams out to collect and test it.

In the meantime, OHA is advising people to simply be on the lookout for algae if they are in the river.

If you see anything that looks strange or pea green in the water, don't swim in that area.

OHA advises you keep your animals out of the area as well as a precaution.

© 2017 KGW-TV


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