COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The City of Colorado Springs has closed Prospect Lake, in Memorial Park, effective immediately, until further notice. A precautionary water sample taken from the lake Friday morning, Aug. 9, by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) tested positive for mycrocystin toxin produced by cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae.
Staff from the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Department have closed and roped off the swim beach and closure signs have been posted. The following activities are prohibited during this time: swimming, bathing, paddle boarding, annual permitted motorized and non-motorized boating of any kind, including water activities like tubing and water skiing. Rentals will not be available during this time, and no pets are allowed. Fishing areas will remain open, though anglers are urged to clean fish well and remove guts.
“Given today’s positive test for mycrocystin toxin, we have closed Prospect Lake for usage,” said Erik Rodriguez, health, safety and environmental specialist with the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Department. “CDPHE will continue to test weekly until the bacteria clears up.”
What is harmful algae?
Blue-green algae are a type of bacteria common in lakes throughout Colorado. The algae multiply rapidly to form blooms and scums and are impacted by a combination of sustained hot weather, stagnant water, and polluted stormwater runoff.
What contributes to blue-green algae growth?
Polluted stormwater runoff can have adverse effects on plants, fish, animals and people. Too much nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus in the water is known as nutrient pollution and can cause algae to grow faster than ecosystems can handle. Significant increases in algae harm water quality, food resources, and decrease the oxygen aquatic life. And sustained hot temperatures and conditions exist for this type of algae to thrive.
While visitors are advised to stay out of the water, they can still enjoy the numerous other amenities provided by Memorial Park.
For more information, visit www.coloradosprings.gov/memorialpark.