Sacramento County’s Toxic Algae Owed to the Drought?

The blue-green gunk hasn’t been seen in the county’s rivers before.

Algae grows when both water levels and flows decrease, which fits the current state of Northern California rivers as water managers reduce water releases from upstream.

Sacramento County environmental health officials want residents to stay away from any bluish-green areas in the water, the most obvious indicator of a growing mat of algae.

The algae may have already claimed its first victim, as a veterinarian notified that the county that a dog recently died shortly after swimming in and drinking “green water” before having symptoms of seizure and vomiting.

While the algae only becomes a health concern when it’s found in large quantities. Exposure can cause a rash, an allergic reaction, or gastrointestinal problems. In large quantities, it can cause neurological or liver damage and even death.

Sacramento County health officials have posted signs warning those near the water.

More information on the algae can be found here.