Residents urged to stay out of Jordan River due to algae-related toxin

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SALT LAKE CITY — Health officials are urging people to stay out of the Jordan River because a toxin has been discovered in the water.

Anatoxin-a, an algae-related toxin, was discovered at low levels in the river late Friday, according to a press release from the Salt Lake County Health Department.

Health officials are urging people and pets to stay out of the water. Dog owners should also make sure their pets do not drink river water.

The toxin should not threaten the health for people on the surface of the river, such as kayakers and other boaters, the statement said.

Samples taken from the Jordan Narrows, where the river enters Salt Lake County, showed evidence of the toxin at 0.1 migrograms per liter, according to the health department.

Warnings will be posted at Wheeler Farm in Murray and Blackridge Reservoir in Herriman, since those are popular places for recreation.

Blackridge Reservoir has been closed until futher notice, according to Herriman City's Twitter account. The park and beach areas will remain open.

Health officials discovered earlier in the month that an algal bloom that started in Utah Lake near Provo Bay was headed toward the Jordan River.

Warnings were posted for swimmers and other visitors to Provo Bay in late June.

Except for Blackridge, no other potentially affected bodies of water in Salt Lake County have been closed to public access.

Contributing: Amy Joi O'Donoghue

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