Tempe Town Lake cancels event due to high pH levels in water

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The City of Tempe has canceled Thursday's planned "Splash and Dash" event due to elevated pH levels in the water of Tempe Town Lake.

City officials say that during routine testing, elevated pH levels were detected in the lake. The City’s water quality experts began treating the lake to bring the levels down to a pH of 9.0 or less, which is the full body contact standard for swimming. As of Wednesday morning’s test, the lake had a pH of 9.2, which exceeds the standard. Some swimmers could experience irritated skin if they swim in a body of water with elevated pH.

"The City of Tempe cares about the health of Tempe Town Lake users and is committed to ensuring the water quality of the lake meets or exceeds all County standards," read a statement from the City.

[RELATED: Fish dying at Tempe Town Lake]

As a result of the pH levels, the organizers of Thursday's Splash & Dash event have decided to cancel.

The City will continue to treat the lake until it returns to a pH of 9.0 or less. In anticipation of Sunday’s Cactus Man triathlon, treatments are planned for Thursday and Friday. No other activities or classes occurring at Tempe Town Lake are impacted. The City will provide updates about the lake pH as treatments continue.

[RELATED: UPDATE: Tempe Town Lake has reopened]

Tempe Town Lake is a living ecosystem that has changed significantly over the past two decades. This past winter, waterways across the state experienced excessive golden algae blooms, which resulted in significant fish die-offs. Golden algae affects organisms that breathe with gills. This phenomenon, weather and other changes to the lake’s ecosystem, all play a role in increased algae and, therefore, increased pH. The City conducts routine tests to ensure that the lake’s water meets or exceeds all regulatory guidelines.

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