DHHS warns residents of blue-green algae in local waterways


HUMBOLDT COUNTY, Calif. (KIEM) — The Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services is warning community members to keep themselves and their pets out of local waterways after cyanobacteria was found on the Mad River.

The cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, was collected at 3 locations: sewer ponds, pump station 4, and downstream of the hatchery road bridge.

The algae is naturally occurring, but warm water and abundant nutrients can grow into harmful algal blooms. Most cyanobacteria do not affect animals or people, but a small number of them are able to produce toxins that can be harmful to both.

Cyanobacteria can be present in any fresh water body and can look like dark green, blue-green, black, orange, or brown scum, foam, or mats on the riverbed or floating on the water.