An NPR member station
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Toxic Algae Found in Newman Lake

The Spokane Regional Health District is asking the public to stay out of Newman Lake due to a toxic algae bloom.

Toxic algae blooms are caused by warm temperatures, low water levels and phosphorous.

A common source of phosphorous is lawn, or agricultural fertilizers. They can also be caused by overgrowth of invasive aquatic plant species.

Hot weather and low-water levels has led to toxic algal blooms at several popular freshwater sources. Fernan and Hayden Lakes in North Idaho both had health warnings this summer, as well as the Columbia River, where several dogs died.

High levels of algae produce cyanobacteria, which can cause rashes and vomiting. In serious cases, it can damage the nervous system and liver.

The health district is urging people to avoid swimming in the water, and wash thoroughly with soap if they are exposed.

People who fish in Newman Lake should remove fat, skin and organs before cooking their catch.

Rebecca White is a 2018 graduate of Edward R Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University. She's been a reporter at Spokane Public Radio since February 2021. She got her start interning at her hometown paper The Dayton Chronicle and previously covered county government at The Spokesman-Review.
Related Content