Health advisory issued after high concentrations of harmful algae blooms found in Triadelphia Reservoir

High concentrations of harmful algae blooms have been found in a reservoir that serves as a drinking water source for parts of the D.C. region, water officials say.

The Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission said Tuesday high concentrations of blue-green algae, known as Harmful Algal Blooms (HAB), were detected in the Triadelphia Reservoir.

The Triadelphia Reservoir is located along the Patuxent River in Montgomery and Howard counties. In addition to serving as a drinking water source for WSSC Water, the reservoir is used as a recreational area for hiking, fishing and boating.

Officials say WSSC Water's drinking water has not been affected and continues to meet all Safe Drinking Water Act standards. The health advisory also does not affect the T. Howard Duckett Reservoir.

WSSC officials say they are closely monitoring water quality conditions at their Patuxent Water Filtration Plant.

Visitors to WSSC Water's Triadelphia Reservoir should do the following:

- Avoid all recreational water contact. If water contact occurs, rinse off immediately with clean water.

- Do not allow pets to swim in or drink the water (prohibited at all times by WSSC Water watershed regulations).

- Do not consume fish livers or digestive organs from fish caught in the reservoir. If you catch a fish in the reservoir, wash the fillets thoroughly with drinking water.

- Signs will be posted throughout the reservoir's recreational areas to inform visitors of this water contact health advisory.

Officials say Triadelphia Reservoir's water level is low due to an ongoing sediment removal project all boat ramps remain closed, and boating is prohibited. Big Branch and Triadelphia Recreation Areas are open during the project, while Pig Tail and Green Bridge are closed. Shoreline fishing is permitted, but only in designated areas.

WSSC says to contact you local health department if any person or pet has come in contact with or ingested water at the reservoir.

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)

More information about algal blooms can be found online