OAKLAND (KCBS)— With the unusually warm July temperatures, at least by Bay Area standards; two popular East Bay swimming spots have shut down due to health concerns caused by rare toxic algae blooms.
Oakland’s Lake Temescal has been off limits for swimmers and their dogs for over a week. While the lake gets blue-green algae (also known as cynobacteria) blooms every summer, East Bay Regional Park District Water Management Supervisor Hal MacLean said this is the first time tests showed to be toxic.
“Blue-green algae can cause some skin irritation or some rashes.” MacLean said that closure should last through the weekend.
Also closed is part of Shadow Cliffs Regional Recreational Area in Pleasanton because of E-coli. The Park District expects to know by noon on Friday if the south beach there will reopen for the weekend.
“On Tuesday we had a large spike and we talked to the health department and decided within a half hour to close the south end of the lake,” MacLean said.
MacLean said it’s the first time in his 14 years with the district that he’s seen 2 different issues cause two separate closures.
Nick Thomas and his three young sons rode their bikes to Lake Temescal on Thursday to find the water blocked by yellow caution tape.
“I think they’re doing what they need to do. I’m disappointed because we came down to play in the water,” he said.
The blue-green algae can cause skin irritation and some rashes. While E. coli can cause vomiting, and other flu-like symptoms.