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Season's first green slime outbreak hits Utah Lake

SARATOGA SPRING — The icky green slime once again is infesting the waters of Utah Lake, with the season's first outbreak of harmful agal blooms reported Wednesday.

A posting at the Utah Department of Environmental Quality's website noted that the blue-green algae at the Saratoga Springs picnic area had water samples testing at signficantly higher levels than the recreation-health threshold.

The toxin microcystin, which comes in at least 50 varieties, was at levels 375 times the advisory level.

According to the agency, the Saratoga Springs Picnic Area had isolated green clumps concentrated along the shore of the beach, and particulates were visible throughout the water column. All other sites were clear with no visible particulates.

The Utah County Health Department issued a warning advisory for the Saratoga Springs Picnic Area and posted signs. The remainder of the lake is not under an advisory.

People should stay out of the water and keep their pets and livestock away.

In the summer of 2016, Utah Lake and the rest of the state suffered from unprecedented harmful algal bloom outbreaks, prompting more resources and studies devoted to the problem.