Bennington Lake in Walla Walla closed after discovery of toxic algae

Health Alert: Potentially deadly toxin found in Moses Lake
A toxic algae sign posted by the Washington State Department of Health.

WALLA WALLA, Wash. — Officials have closed Bennington Lake in Walla Walla after the Department of Ecology discovered toxic levels of blue-green algae in the lake.

The City of Walla Walla released the information Thursday after the department of community health was notified of the discovery.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is working with the Walla Walla Department of Community Health to monitor the situation.

Blue-green algae has been found throughout the region, including in Richland along the Columbia River, due to warm temperatures.

RELATED: Columbia River shoreline closed; toxic algae found

The toxic algae can harm pets and humans if they are exposed.

People or animals can be exposed to cyanotoxins by skin contact with water containing toxins while swimming or doing other activities in the water, drinking water containing toxins, breathing in tiny droplets in the air that contain toxins, or eating fish or shellfish that contain toxins. Exposure may result in stomach pain, headache, neurological symptoms (for example, muscle weakness, dizziness), vomiting, diarrhea, and liver damage.

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Bennington Lake visitors are asked to stay out of the water until the department of community health receives test results showing the toxicity levels reduced to safe levels.