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City of Moses Lake

Posted on: September 28, 2018



Grant County Health District (GCHD) is advising the public to avoid contact with O’Sullivan/Potholes Reservoir in all areas.

O’Sullivan/Potholes Reservoir, WA- The Washington State Department of Ecology recently took a sample to test for the spread of toxins from blue-green algae in O’Sullivan/Potholes Reservoir. The sample came back with toxin levels higher than the Washington State recreational guidelines. Blue-Green algae toxins may be present in all parts of O’Sullivan/Potholes Reservoir. GCHD will continue testing the lake weekly until sample results show toxin levels are below the Washington State recreational guidelines. GCHD has posted caution and warning signs around public access points to O’Sullivan/Potholes Reservoir. The signs at both Moses Lake and O’Sullivan/Potholes Reservoir will remain up until the algae toxin levels are below recreational guidelines for two consecutive weeks.

GCHD is advising:
• Avoid contact with O’Sullivan/Potholes Reservoir water areas, Including recreational water activities (skiing, wakeboarding, etc.)
• Do not drink the lake water
• Keep all pets & livestock away from the lake water
• Clean fish caught in O’Sullivan/Potholes Reservoirs well and discard their guts

Health & Safety Information:
The type of blue-green algae that is present in O’Sullivan/Potholes Reservoir produce Microcystin toxin, which can cause serious illness in people, pets, and livestock.
• Symptoms may take 15 minutes to 24 hours (usually within one hour) to appear, depending upon the size of the person or animal affected and the amount of toxic bloom consumed. Microcystin toxicosis may include jaundice, shock, abdominal pain/distention, weakness, nausea/vomiting, severe thirst, rapid/weak pulse and death.

What is Blue-Green Algae Bloom?

These algae blooms grow rapidly in fresh water
when there is enough sunlight, high temperatures,
and nutrients in the water. It often looks like green
paint floating on the water. It is common for Grant
County waters to have blue-green algae in the
summer and fall, but not all blue-green algae
blooms are toxic.
• Pet owners should not allow their pets to
play in or drink water where blue-green
algae are present as these toxins can kill

What are the signs of toxic blue-green algae?
• Large number of dead fish, birds, or other
• Sudden and unexplained sickness or death of a dog or cat who has recently been in contact with
fresh water such as a lake or pond, especially if it has algae on its mouth, legs or feet.
• People can develop skin rashes after being in the water or become ill.

Theresa Adkinson, Administrator
509-766-7960 ext. 24
Jon Ness, Environmental Health Manager
509-766-7960 ext. 26
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