Panhandle Health District, the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality, and the Coeur d'Alene Tribe have issues a health advisory for Black Lake.
Officials are urging the public to use caution when on or near the water.
Water quality monitoring has confirmed the presence of cyanobacteria, commonly known as blue-green algae. The blooms have the potential to produce dangerous toxins in the lake.
Pets, children, the elderly, and people with weak immune systems are most at risk of harmful exposure.
Property owners using the lake as a drinking water source are asked not to consume it. Blue-green algae toxins cannot be removed by boiling or filtering the water.
Anyone who has had contact with the water (swimming, boating, etc.) should wash off with fresh water.
Symptoms of exposure include rashes, hives, diarrhea, vomiting, coughing, and/or wheezing. More severe symptoms affecting the the liver and nervous system may result from ingesting the water.
If symptoms persist, consult your health care provider immediately.
The public will be advised when the concern no longer exists.
Updated information on harmful algae blooms in north Idaho can be found here: http://www.deq.idaho.gov/water-quality/surface-water/blue-green-algae/
(story and photo: KHQ.com)