LAKEWOOD, Colo. (KDVR) — Levels of blue-green algae are rising at a popular Lakewood lake, so the city is not letting people swim due to the risk to the public and pets.

Big Soda Lake is now closed to swimming and the city is advising people to avoid any activity on the lake that involves contact with the water. Rentals at Rocky Mountain Paddleboard are still allowed, but people are required to rinse off any watercraft after use.

While blue-green algae are naturally occurring in Colorado, it becomes more harmful during warmer temperatures when the algae will cluster and bloom, multiplying rapidly. The organism, known as cyanobacteria, can be dangerous for people and pets if ingested, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

CDPHE recommends the following if you see local algae blooms:

  • Stay out of the water
  • Don’t drink the water
  • Keep your pets and livestock away from the water
  • Avoid boating near or through algae blooms
  • Clean fish well with clean water and properly discard guts

The City of Lakewood will continue to monitor algae levels at Big Soda Lake and will post updates when it is safe to resume swimming.