Algae bloom prompts pause for paddleboarding at Lake Tempe Town

The City of Tempe is testing water safety and will allow activity to resume as soon as possible.

TEMPE, Ariz. — Stand-up paddleboarding at Tempe Town Lake has been restricted for about two weeks due to seasonal algae blooms, city officials said.

The closure of the lake to paddleboarders was announced by the city on Wednesday. Other activities involving close contact with water are also paused as a precaution.

Stand-up paddleboarding is one of many common activities to do on the lake. Due to the nature of the activity, exposure to algal blooms on lake water may be likely.

“Probably the most important thing to know is that the water is not harmful. We test it to make sure,” said Kris Baxter-Ging, public information officer for the city of Tempe. “What we’re really trying to avoid is people drinking water.”

The tests will take time to process, but once they determine the water meets safety standards, the lake will reopen to stand-up paddlers.

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Kayaking, outrigger canoeing, rowing, sailing, dragon boating and pedal boating will not be affected and may continue. Visitors can also participate in catch-and-release fishing. Parks around Town Lake will also remain open.

“It’s only one sport that we’re restricting right now, so there are still all the other wonderful activities you can do,” Baxter-Ging said.

Tempe officials are asking visitors to keep their pets out of the water and also to avoid bodily contact with lake water. Swimming has never been permitted at Town Lake.

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Blue-green algae blooms are common and Town Lake has experienced them in the past.

“When there’s extreme climate change, that’s usually when it happens,” Baxter-Ging said. “We’ve seen quite a significant rise in temperatures over the last week or two and that’s generally what’s happened.”

If you have any questions regarding Town Lake, please call 480-350-4311.

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