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May-31-2007 04:32printcomments

Weekend Reminder: Headed to Detroit Lake East of Salem, Don't Drink the Water

Drinking water from Detroit Lake Reservoir is now especially dangerous.

Detroit Lake map
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(DETROIT, Ore. ) - A health advisory prompted by high algae levels found in several locations on Detroit Lake, located 60 miles from Salem, Oregon, was issued Wednesday by the Willamette National Forest and the Oregon Department of Human Services.

The algae have been found on the South side of the lake, in Kinney, Blowout and Cove arms; visitors should, however be aware that algae blooms are unpredictable, and may be found at other locations.

Water sampling by the Forest Service has confirmed the presence of blue-green algae that can produce toxins harmful to humans and animals, said Ken Kauffman, Environmental Health Specialist with the Oregon DHS Environmental Toxicology Program.

The levels found are likely to be associated with dangerous toxin concentrations in the water.

Swallowing or inhaling water droplets should be avoided, as well as skin contact with water by humans or animals.

Drinking water from Detroit Lake Reservoir is especially dangerous.

The toxins cannot be removed by individuals by boiling, filtering, or treating water.

DHS recommends that if people choose to eat the fish found in the reservoir, they should remove all fat, skin and organs before cooking since toxins are more likely to collect in these tissues.

Children and pets are particularly susceptible; symptoms of numbness, tingling and dizziness, difficulty breathing, or heart problems require immediate medical attention. Other symptoms may include skin irritation, weakness, diarrhea, nausea, cramps and fainting; seek medical attention if these symptoms persist or worsen.

The public will be advised when the concern no longer exists.

With proper precautions to avoid water contact, people are encouraged to visit Detroit Lake Reservoir and enjoy activities such as camping, hiking, biking, picnicking, catch-and-release fishing, and bird watching.

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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.


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