GEESE (copy)

Geese perch on a leg at the edge of the ice on Pikeview Reservoir Thursday, December 4, 2014. Michael Ciaglo, The Gazette

Pikeview Reservoir in northern Colorado Springs tested positive for blue-green algae, a Colorado Springs Utilities news release read Wednesday. 

The popular fishing lake that lies just south of Garden of the Gods Road tested above acceptable limits for the bacteria the news release read. The water is still safe to fish in, but humans and pets are not allowed. Anglers are asked to clean the fish thoroughly and remove guts, according to the news release.

The reservoir has been removed as a drinking water source, Utilities stated, however there are no concerns about the tainted water affecting the community.

"It’s our responsibility to provide safe, reliable drinking water to our community and to always consider public safety at our reservoirs," wrote chief water services officer Earl Wilkinson in a statement. "We will continue to closely monitor our reservoirs and take appropriate actions."

Over 400 water quality tests a month are conducted by Utilities, stated the news release, including more than 12,000 water samples throughout the year. Testing has increased since warmer weather heightens the risk of blue-green algae.

The state Health Department says toxic algae can cause skin irritation or rashes, blisters around the mouth and nose, asthma, nausea and vomiting, stomach cramps, diarrhea, headaches, a sore throat, fever, muscle and joint pain, and liver damage.

The reservoir is at least the second body of water in Colorado Springs to test positive for blue-green algae in the past week. 

On Friday, the city closed Prospect Lake in Memorial Park indefinitely for testing positive for the harmful bacteria. A second round of testing the water on Monday revealed levels of toxic algae strong enough to kill dogs.

As of Wednesday, the lake was still closed due to high levels.

Click here to view the city's test results for toxic algae in Prospect Lake.

Multimedia Journalist

Liz is a multimedia journalist with a specific interest in space exploration and environment. She watches way too much Star Trek and is working toward her rescue scuba divers certification. Liz joined the Gazette staff in 2019.

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