Sludge appears to just be algae

The head of the Environmental Protection Agency for the State of Nevada said Sunday a mysterious film on the Carson River appears to be algae.

"Saturday we sent out an inspector who took a long look at the area and his initial determination was that it was algae," said EPA head Allen Biaggi. "I went out (Sunday) and walked a good stretch of the river and we believe it is algae, but plan to look at it again Monday."

The film, a foamy brown and beige color, had collected along the riverbank and at the dam between the 15th and 16th holes of the golf course. Golf course pro Alan Hoover reported the finding to authorities Saturday afternoon who, in turn, contacted Biaggi's department.

"We think the algae is due to the low water and high temperatures," Biaggi said. He said the river water is unusually low this year and with the higher temperatures outside, the water is also hotter than normal.

"I saw green algae, which is very typical, then we also saw this brown algae, which is not so common, but very slimy and very slippery. With the water temperature so high, it can spur the growth of many types of algae. This year both factors caused this to occur," he said.

Biaggi said the river's aquatic life is doing well.

"There was a lot of fish swimming, I saw no dead fish. The crayfish appeared to be thriving and healthy," he said.

Biaggi said he saw no signs of a sewage spill, citing there was no debris floating or a tell-tale obnoxious odor.

"This could smell pretty bad when it begins to decompose, but nothing like sewage," he said.


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