Cal Park lake is tested for toxic bacteria

No confirmation of toxins, but precautionary testing is underway

Chico lake tested for contamination

CHICO, Calif. - A man-made lake in one of Chico's nicer neighborhoods is being tested for contamination Monday. 

Pink notices have been attached to posts surrounding the lake at the Cal Park development in east Chico, warning that everyone, including animals, stay out of the water. 

According to the Butte County Environmental Health Department, lakes can get a bloom of blue-green algae this time of year that can produce a toxin called cyanobacteria. There has been no confirmation that the lake is experiencing a blue-green bloom and there are no reports of human or animal illness.

Hignall Property Management, which oversees the Cal Park lake, sent a water sample for testing after an algae was spotted.  If the water is toxic it can cause terrible reactions to both humans and animals.

"It causes skin, eyes, throat and nose irritations," said Butte County Environmental Health Director Brad Banner. "It can also cause vomiting and diarrhea,"

Banner added that the primary concern is drinking the water.  But to be safe he suggests everyone to stay out of the lake entirely until the tests come back.

"And you really worry about your pets, because they get down in the lake and they lap up the water," said Banner.

Banner thinks it's doubtful that the algae is toxic, but wants everyone to play it safe.  He said the results of the algae tests will likely be ready by the middle of this week.

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