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Homestead Ranch Pond tests positive for blue-green algae

Prospect Lake closed due to algae bloom
Posted at 1:31 PM, Aug 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-27 14:40:42-04

EL PASO COUNTY — A third body of water in El Paso County has tested positive for blue-green algae.

The pond at Homestead Ranch Regional Park tested above the recommended safety threshold for Microcystins, which is associated with a bloom of blue-green algae according to results from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE).

The City of Colorado Springs is warning people to stay out of Prospect Lake due to an algae bloom. They say elevated levels of toxic blue-green algae are killing off fish and pose a threat to people and pets.
Swimming is prohibited in the lake at any time of year. However, the city is restricting stand up paddle boards, water skis and jet skis under this lake closure until this algae bloom runs its course.

The city has also warned people to stay away from The Pikeview Reservoir, a popular fishing lake in central Colorado and part of Colorado Springs Utilities' water system. While the reservoir recently tested positive for the toxic algae, it is still safe for fishing, according to Colorado Springs Utilities.

Homestead Ranch Regional Park is located north of Peyton on Gollihar Road. El Paso County Parks posted signs over the weekend to avoid contact with the water. The safety concern is mainly for dogs and horses that might jump in the pond or drink the water.

Park staff sampled water from Willow Springs Ponds, Duckwood Pond in Fountain Creek Regional Park, the pond in Fox Run Regional Park, Drake Lake. Park staff are still waiting for test results for Bear Creek in Bear Creek Regional Park but remain optimistic as the CDPHE states the blue-green algae grows in slow moving bodies of water such as lakes.

Here are the following recommendations from The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment:

· Fishing is still permitted, but clean fish well and discard guts appropriately.
· If people or pets contact the water, wash with clean water as soon as possible.
· Contact Poison Control Center (or veterinarian) if you (or your pets) experience nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, rash, irritated eyes, seizures, breathing problems or other unexplained illness if you had contact with the water.

For more information on blue-green algae, click here.