Harmful Algal Bloom Monitoring

    Harmful algal blooms frequently occur in reservoirs, lakes and ponds, especially those that are highly nutrient enriched. These blooms are made up of billions of cyanobacteria: primitive nitrogen-fixing photosynthetic bacteria that thrive in warm, phosphorus rich waters.

    While harmless in small concentrations, blooms – large growths - can produce toxins that can be deadly for humans, pets and livestock. 

    Mantua algae bloomHarmful algal blooms tend to occur in warm waters that are nutrient enriched. Often as reservoirs are drawn-down in the summer, blooms occur. Nutrients can enter a lake through runoff (agricultural, urban or suburban) or from wastewater treatment plants. Utah – unlike many states - does not currently set standards for nutrients in discharge from sewage treatment plants, exacerbating the problem.

    Participate in statewide monitoring with UWW and NOAA to help identify the occurrence of these blooms.  See resources below.

    More information and updates about Utah blooms: Divison of Water Quality 


     Report A Bloom


    Additional Resources 

    Utah Department of Water Quality Website-Updates about advisories and monitoring.

    Live water quality data via buoys- Buoys deployed at several reservoirs and lakes around the state

    NOAA HAB site- Everything from education to ecoforecasting