BFHD: Toxic Algae discovered at Richland’s Leslie Groves Park

Blue Green Algae — Richland, Leslie Groves Park
Image Credit: Grant County Health Department

RICHLAND, Wash. — A scenic lookout along the Columbia River, Leslie Groves Park is a popular and beloved spot for Tri-Cities community members to visit. Unfortunately, those planning to visit for recreational activities on the water will probably need to reassess their plans now that toxic algae was detected in the river.

According to the Benton-Franklin Health District, signs have been posted since levels of toxicity in the algae at Leslie Groves Park surpassed the region’s guidelines. The contaminant discovered is a neurotoxin called Anatoxin-a, which can be extremely dangerous if ingested.

It’s particularly toxic for dogs and small children. Symptoms, which were outlined below by BFHD leaders, generally appear within 20 minutes of consumption:

  • Animals: Weakness, staggering, difficulty breathing, convulsions, and death.
  • Humans: Numbness of the lips, tingling in fingers and toes, and dizziness

RELATED: Toxic blue-green algae detected in waters at McNary National Wildlife Refuge

If you, a loved one, or your pet consumes toxic algae, you’re urged to seek medical attention immediately.

Until the detected levels decline, all Richland community members are advised to avoid the water at Leslie Groves Park. The level of urgency is much greater when pertaining to pets and children.

Health leaders will be conducting weekly tests to monitor the toxicity level in water at the community hub located at 40 Park St in Richland. More specifically, the algae samples were gathered at the Leslie Groves Park boat launch along the Columbia River.

This is a breaking news story. An update and/or follow-up may be issued if further details are revealed.


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