Taking a proactive step for the health of residents and pets, El Paso Parks gathered water samples from six bodies of water on Monday and sent the samples to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) in Denver.

“We are aware of other area ponds temporarily closing due to algae concerns,” said Brian Bobeck, Parks Operations Division Manager. “We are not aware of any blue-green algae in lakes or ponds in our County Parks, but to be safe, we’re testing.”

Park staff sampled water from Willow Springs Ponds, Duckwood Pond in Fountain Creek Regional Park, the pond in Fox Run Regional Park, Drake Lake, and the pond at Homestead Ranch Regional Park. According to the CDPHE, blue-green algae are a kind of bacteria common in Colorado waters. Some algae blooms produce toxins (poisons) that can cause illness in humans and pets.

Staff has not tested any flowing creeks as the CDPHE states the blue-green algae grows in slow moving bodies of water such as lakes.

CDPHE water testing can take several days. County Parks staff is hoping to receive the results later this week.

More information on blue-green algae is available on the CDPHE website at:

If you see anything unusual in the County Parks ponds or waterways, please call the Parks Office at (719) 520-7529.