LAUREL, Md. (WJZ) — The Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) has detected high concentrations of blue-green algae in the T. Howard Duckett and Triadelphia Reservoirs.

Blue-green algae can cause serious adverse health effects if contacted.

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Both reservoirs, which are located along the Patuxent River, serve as drinking water sources for WSSC and recreational areas for hiking, fishing, and boating.

WSSC said its drinking water is not affected and continues to meet all Safe Drinking Water Act standards. As a precaution, WSSC is closely monitoring water quality conditions at its Patuxent Water Filtration Plant.


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Due to ongoing dam work at WSSC’s Triadelphia Reservoir, the area is not open to the public. All recreation areas, boat ramps and public access to the reservoir are closed.

Visitors to WSSC’s Duckett Reservoir are encouraged to do the following:

  • Avoid all recreational water contact. If water contact occurs, rinse off immediately with clean water.
  • Do not allow pets to swim in or drink the water (prohibited at all times by WSSC watershed regulations).
  • Do not consume fish livers or digestive organs from fish caught in the reservoir. If a fish is caught in the reservoir, wash fillets thoroughly with drinking water.

Permit holders at the Duckett Reservoir can use the picnic areas and hike on designated trails. Signs will be posted throughout both reservoirs to make visitors aware of this water contact health advisory.

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In the event that you, your pet, or someone you know has contacted or ingested water at either reservoir, call your local Health Department: