COLORADO SPRINGS — According to the City of Colorado Springs, Prospect Lake in Memorial Park has been closed, effective immediately and will be until further notice due to the presumed return of blue-green algae.
The closure comes after Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services staff visited the lake on Monday.
Colorado Springs Utilities will take a water sample on Tuesday and test it to confirm the presence of mycrocystin toxin, which is produced by cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae.
Blue-green algae is a type of bacteria common in lakes throughout Colorado.
The increased bacteria harms water quality, decreases the amount of oxygen available to animals living in the water, and can produce a toxin that is harmful to humans and pets.
“Our region has again been experiencing hot, dry weather, creating conditions similar to what we experienced prior to the 2019 algae bloom in Prospect Lake,” said Erik Rodriguez, health, safety and environmental specialist with the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Department. “Given today’s visual inspection, and the lake’s recent history with mycrocystin toxin, we have closed Prospect Lake for usage at this time. If Tuesday’s water sample returns positive, we will continue to test weekly until the bacteria clears up.”
Prospect Lake was closed for 12 weeks in the late summer and early fall of 2019 due to blue-green algae.
Since that time, Parks’ staff has taken proactive measures, including the application of an enzyme-based, non-pesticide treatment that consumes the biomass at the bottom of the lake and helps oxygenate the water.
The first two treatments were applied May 26 and June 11. The next scheduled treatment is Tuesday.
Additionally, more water will be added to the lake, which will increase the oxygen level and help dilute the toxin.
During the closure, the following activities are prohibited: swimming, bathing, paddle boarding, tubing, water skiing and non-motorized boating of any kind. No pets are allowed. The use of permitted motorized boats is encouraged as this activity can help aerate the water. Fishing areas will remain open, though anglers are urged to clean fish well and remove guts.