- Associated Press - Thursday, August 6, 2015

JOHNSTON, Iowa (AP) - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says two beaches at Saylorville Lake are closed due to a blue-green algae bloom that could be harmful to people and pets.

Routine water quality monitoring performed at the lake identified high levels of a compound produced by blue-green algae under certain environmental conditions that can cause illness through direct skin contact, by ingesting the water or by breathing airborne water droplets.

The compound called microcystin can cause skin reactions, gastrointestinal pain, breathing problems or liver damage.

Public health officials recommend no swimming, wading or boating in areas where the water is covered with scum, is bright green or blue in color, or smells bad.

The corps oversees the lake 11 miles northwest of Des Moines and announced the beach closings on Thursday.

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