What You Need to Know About Blue-Green Algae and E. Coli

Blue-Green Algae Bloom, courtesy of Colorado Parks and Wildlife

Listen to an informative podcast provided by Colorado Parks and Wildlife:


Watch this video from Colorado Parks and Wildlife:

Summer is the time of year when many folks are enjoying spending time on the water, but it is also the time of year when algae blooms or E. Coli can cause closures of popular areas like swim beaches. Colorado Parks and Wildlife explains them both in its latest podcast episode of Colorado Outdoors.

This summer there have been closures in areas at Barr Lake, Chatfield and Cherry Creek state parks, and at DeWeese Reservoir State Wildlife Area. These are just temporary closures at state-managed facilities. You hear of other similar headlines in the news at city or county-managed properties, too.

This can get confusing to the public on what they need to know or where they should turn to look for information, or who manages it all. This podcast episode is designed to help inform the public on the process.

Mindi May is CPW’s Water Quality Coordinator and Scott Roush is the Deputy Regional Manager for the Northeast Region – they both share their knowledge on water quality and keeping people (and your dogs) safe while recreating on the water.

1:50 – background on E. coli and algae in our water system
4:15 – Human activities that can escalate the presence of E. coli and blue-green algae
5:40 – What is CPW responsible for monitoring when it comes to toxic algae blooms
7:10 – What causes an algae bloom
7:55 – What signs should people be looking for on the water
8:50 – Are there lakes and reservoirs more susceptible to toxic algae blooms
9:20 – Process of testing for E. coli and toxic algae blooms
10:15 – Are these becoming more prevalent in Colorado
11:05 – What can people do to help
12:00 – People shouldn’t be afraid to recreate in our waters, just watch for signs
12:45 – Roles of the various agencies involved in inspecting and testing
13:30 – What is CPW’s response when you get a positive test & where do we test
15:10 – Steps towards reopening after a closure of an area due to E. coli or blue-green algae
16:15 – Discussing Dog Off Leash Areas and keeping your dogs safe
17:40 – What do people need to keep in mind when going out to recreate on the water
18:45 – If a swim beach closes, can you still boat, fish, etc. on the reservoir?
19:40 – Best way for people to find out about closures

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