MOSCOW — Hordemann Pond at Kiwanis Park is closed due to poor water quality. Water samples recently taken from Hordemann Pond confirmed the presence of cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae. These species of algae can produce potentially dangerous toxins. Precaution is advised, and the pond is closed to all recreation activities, including fishing, until further notice.
Children and pets are particularly susceptible to the harmful effects of this type of algae. The following are the most common routes of exposure to cyanobacteria and related toxins during recreational activities:
- Orally from accidental or deliberate ingestion of contaminated water.
- Dermally by direct contact of exposed body parts with water-containing cyanobacteria cells.
- Inhalation through the aspiration of water containing cyanobacteria and their toxins.
Acute health effects in humans may include abdominal pain, headache, sore throat, vomiting and nausea, dry cough, diarrhea, blistering around the mouth, and pneumonia.
This bloom requires added precaution given the open area and water environment at Hordemann Pond. It can be seen in the uncharacteristically green color of the water, and the thick green mats present along shorelines.
Blue-green algae are naturally occurring microscopic bacteria. Many species occur in Idaho surface waters, and only some species release toxins under certain conditions. Harmful algal blooms occur in water conditions of optimal temperature, oxygen, and when nitrogen is unavailable, and phosphorus is abundant. These circumstances are most common during warmer months of late summer.