Why you need to avoid getting wet in Triadelphia Reservoir’s recreational waters

The Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission urges you to avoid all contact with the water of the Triadelphia Reservoir along the Patuxent River in Montgomery and Howard counties because of high concentrations of blue-green algae.

Signs about the health advisory will be posted throughout the Triadelphia Reservoir’s recreational areas.

“This is really for the people who use the reservoir for recreational activities, and this not uncommon to see these blue-green algae blooms in this time of year,” said Lyn Riggins, spokeswoman for WSSC Water.

“The drinking water is not impacted,” she said.

As a precaution, WSSC Water said it is closely monitoring the water quality conditions at the Patuxent Water Filtration Plant.

Contact with water that has high blue-green algae concentrations can cause health problems, some of which can be serious, including the following, according to WSSC:

  • Skin irritation or rashes;
  • Nausea or other gastrointestinal distress;
  • Disorientation;
  • Numbness;
  • Fatigue.

Here’s what WSSC recommends:

  • If you come in contact with the water, rinse off right away.
  • Do not allow dogs to swim in or drink the water.
  • Don’t eat fish livers or digestive organs from fish caught in the reservoir. Wash fillets thoroughly with drinking water.

Call the health department if you come in contact with the water or ingest it:

Montgomery County: 240-777-0311 (Montgomery County 311);
Prince George’s County: 301-883-4748 (Prince George’s County 311);
Howard County: 410-313-1773 (Community Hygiene Department).

Colleen Kelleher

Colleen Kelleher is an award-winning journalist who has been with WTOP since 1996. Kelleher joined WTOP as the afternoon radio writer and night and weekend editor and made the move to WTOP.com in 2001. Now she works early mornings as the site's Senior Digital Editor.

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