Reservoir Water Quality Closings

Algae growing on the surface of a pond. Photo by Liz Harrell on Unsplash

Periodically, Parker Water & Sanitation District may place restrictions on use at Rueter-Hess Reservoir for recreational use due to the presence of cyanotoxins.

When recreating at the reservoir, please observe the following guidelines: 

  • Do not drink the lake water!
  • Avoid contact with floating algae
  • Keep all pets away from the water
  • Kayaks, paddle boards, and canoes are permitted unless otherwise posted. 

Full closures may occur when samples collected from the reservoir show cyanotoxins, a toxin produced by cyanobacteria or blue-green algae, in the water at levels above state-designated recreational water health advisory levels. When these problems occur, PWSD issues an advisory stating that no one should swim, wade, or come into contact with the water, scum, foam, or algae in the reservoir.

Exposure to concentrations of cyanotoxins above state guideline values could lead to more serious illness, such as liver or kidney damage. If you, your family members, or your animals suspect you have experienced adverse health effects related to cyanotoxins, please contact the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to report the illness. Contact a veterinarian if animals show signs of illness.

If PWSD issues an advisory, we will also post updated information when cyanotoxin levels are less than or equal to state health advisory levels, the advisory is lifted, or if there are any changes to the recreational closure conditions.

For more information, visit the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment website.