Cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, can form harmful blooms in slow-moving water during the late summer when water temperatures are warmer. These blooms are considered harmful because they produce toxins and other irritants that can pose a risk to humans, pets and livestock.
The BOPU tries to prevent harmful blooms by strategically transferring water from high altitude reservoirs to local reservoirs. The colder water from the higher elevations helps prevent algae blooms. Operators may also try to control algae blooms by killing algae using a peroxide-based algaecide. This algaecide quickly breaks down into hydrogen peroxide and oxygen, two components that do not linger in the water very long.
During the summer, water quality laboratory staff monitor water quality and algae blooms in Cheyenne’s reservoirs. If blooms become harmful, the BOPU will work with the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality, Wyoming State Forest Service, Wyoming State Parks and the U.S. Forest Service to prevent exposure.
For more information, please visit the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality’s web page on Cyanobacterial Blooms.