Environmental Health > Hazards & Toxics

Algal Blooms

When algal blooms are toxic, they can be harmful to the health of you, your family, your animals, & the Palouse ecosystem.

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Latest Testing Results from Monitored Algal Blooms

Website Table with Map


Snake River HAB Testing Results

View comprehensive list here.

Images from Tested Areas

Central Ferry

Wawawai Landing

Algal Bloom Factsheet

Harmful Algal Blooms flyer

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is blue-green algae?

A: Blue-green algae (also called cyanobacteria) is found in fresh water. Blue-green algae is natural, and a source of food and shelter for marine life. When conditions are right, blue-green algae can multiply and "bloom" into algal blooms. Harmful algal blooms can create toxins that are a threat to the health of people, animals, and the environment.

Q: Are all algal blooms toxic?

A: Not all blooms produce toxins. The only way to know if a bloom is toxic is by testing it. All blooms should be considered toxic unless they have been tested and are negative.

Q: What do algal blooms look like?

A: These blooms will appear on the surface of water as a scum, and are green, blue, brown, and/or sometimes red. Their appearance is often described as looking like spilled paint on the surface of the water.

Q: What should I do if I think I’ve found a algal bloom?

A: To report a bloom in Whitman County, call our office at 509.332.6752 or email us at EH@whitmancounty.gov. Taking photos of the bloom is also recommended. You should also stay out of areas you believe have a bloom.

Report a Suspect Bloom

Suspected blooms in Whitman County can be reported here.

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Program Contact

If you have any questions, please contact us at 509-397-6280 or email us at EH@whitmancounty.gov.

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