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The California Department of Water Resources is warning people to avoid any contact with the water in Pyramid Lake because of a toxic algae bloom that has taken over much of the water.

Pyramid Lake Algae Bloom

Pyramid Lake is located in Los Angeles County and is a popular destination a popular swimming, boating, fishing and waterskiing for many people in the area. Unfortunately, many people have already got sick from the harmful, and potentially deadly water.

The algae taking over the lake is called Cyanobacteria which I have reported on before as being the toxic green culprit taking over many of the nation’s other lakes such as Utah Lake and Shasta Lake in California.

According to the EPA: “Cyanotoxins are produced and contained within the actively growing cyanobacterial cells (i.e., intracellular toxins). The release of these toxins in an algal bloom into the surrounding water as dissolved (extracellular) toxins occurs mostly during cell death and lysis (i.e., cell rupture) as opposed to the continuous excretion from the cells.

Cyanotoxins can affect the liver (hepatotoxic), the nervous system (neurotoxic) and the skin (acutely dermatotoxic); however, hepatotoxic freshwater blooms of cyanobacteria are more commonly found than neurotoxic blooms throughout the world.”

Here is a visual chart from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) showing just how dangerous these toxins are to humans.

MIP - Toxic algae cyanotoxins

The San Gabriel Valley Tribune had reported that people were already getting sick from the toxic water before state officials issued the warning:

“The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health received reports about three people falling ill after recreating at the lake between June 17 and July 10. They reported having skin rashes, diarrhea and fatigue, said Terri Williams, director of environmental health for the department.

None of the reports involved people being hospitalized for their symptoms.

DWR staff have said in emails the reason for the delay in notifying the public was they needed to collect additional samples to “determine the extent of the bloom and whether it was increasing or decreasing.”

But according to voluntary guidelines developed by the California Cyanobacteria Harmful Algal Bloom Network, which California’s DWR is a part of, a caution sign warning the public that “harmful algae may be present” should have been posted when the department received the toxin analysis for the June 28 sample on June 30.

After watching her 13-year-old son throw up everything he ate when they got home from a day of jet skiing at Pyramid Lake, Sharyn Martinez was angered to learn last week that the state is now urging the public to avoid the water there because of a toxic algal bloom.

Martinez and her family were at the Los Angeles County reservoir on July 9. Days later, the department notified the public about the bloom.

“To find out after the fact that this could have been avoided — you put my kid through a little nightmare here and you affected his health,” said Martinez, 45, of Lakewood, who is certain the toxic bloom sickened her son. “They should have, at the very least, given a flier at the gate then we would have at least had the option to turn around.”

However, some ignorant people are placing their children at risk by ignoring the recent warnings as KTLA 5 reports:

“Despite the warning, a handful of people were visiting the lake on Thursday. One mom said her family was warned about a “bacteria in the water” and was told they’d be swimming at their own risk.

She said they all planned to go home and shower.”

Personally, I feel this woman is not only a fool, but a terrible mother who is placing her children in danger for a little fun in the toxic sun.

Pyramid-Lake-Algae-Bloom