local | Water

Algae Contamination Spurs Drinking Water Worries Near Heppner

AP | June 18, 2013 2:19 p.m. | Portland

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AP

The discovery of blue-green algae in an Eastern Oregon reservoir has the Oregon Health Authority worried that drinking water near Heppner could be contaminated.

Drinking water (file photo)

Drinking water (file photo)

Courtesy EPA

The advisory on Tuesday came after the algae discovery in the Willow Creek Reservoir. The algae produces cyanotoxin, which is harmful to humans and pets.

Most discoveries of the toxin take place in Southern Oregon.

The health authority asked those who draw their drinking water from the reservoir to find an alternate source, and says private treatment systems aren’t capable of removing algae toxins.

Exposure to the toxins can produce symptoms of numbness, tingling and dizziness. The toxins can also lead to difficulty breathing or heart problems.

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