We just received a nice couple of days of rain leading to fuller playa lakes but you're still best to steer clear of them.

Most people have not given much thought to spending any time in a playa lake, for others a body of water is a body of water and it looks refreshing enough to them. This is an incredibly bad idea for several reasons.

Let's start with the fact that you have no idea what is in a playa lake from a tangle perspective. There could be a shopping cart in there you could get caught up in. Thee might be rope, or flags on a string from a grand opening somewhere that could get you into trouble. You just have no idea what people have thrown in there.

Next on the list, and this goes for floodwaters too, you have no idea what kind of chemicals, animal poo, dead things, medical waste, or whatever has washed into those things. You could get anything from Hepatitis A, to Cholera, to a nasty staff infection. Rolling the dice and coming up with any of those things sounds unpleasant if not deadly.

It's just important to remember that playa lakes don't have the same ecosystems as (some) other lakes and rivers. There is nothing going on in a playa lake to purify the water, other than maybe some of the heavier nastiness sinking to the bottom. Playa lakes are in fact so nasty, that I can't even believe we allow them to have fountains that shoot water into the air that could result in someone inhaling those nasty droplets.

Of course, active floodwaters also have another danger in that you could get caught up in the currents and just not be able to escape them.

It may seem fun to drop a kayak into one of those playas, or even to ride down a flooded street, but you're really risking your health every time you do.

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