For people in the Bay Area looking for recreation close to home this holiday weekend, officials say they need to check on whether popular lakes are safe to swim in right now.
Several Bay Area lakes already have warning signs announcing the water is dangerous, particularly for dogs, because of blue green algae blooms.
Families were splashing in the water again Saturday at East Beach of Lake Del Valle near Livermore.
Martha Ramirez brought her kids to Del Valle Regional Park from East Palo Alto.
“I tried a couple of weeks ago, because we love coming here for the kids and stuff, but it was actually closed so what I did because it was a holiday coming up. I called to make sure it was open,” she said.
“There is state guidance for blue green algae and cyanobacteria toxins and we have been monitoring weekly and even more so we have been testing,” said Hal MacLean, Water Management Supervisor for the East Bay Regional Park District.
MacLean said they got the OK from a number of regulators to open up on one side.
“We have had a month of good conditions at the east beach but at the south end and the West Beach continue to have issues.” MacLean said.
The West Beach, which is further south remains closed and at the East Beach, people need to be aware. Even though swimming is reopening, there is a caution advisory.
“We recommend that you don’t put the water in your mouth and you shower afterwards,” MacLean said.
Officials said that dogs should stay out of the water altogether and not drink it. The dangerous bloom is hitting other lakes in the Bay Area as well.
Almaden Lake in South San Jose is noticeably green and has warning signs posted as well. In previous years, health officials have explained the blue green algae is due to minimal water flow and high surface temperatures.
Back in Livermore, people were trying to make the most of being out for the holiday.
“We’re going to hang out a bit, probably cook and hang out some more,” said Ray Tang of Fremont.