Blue-green algae detected in four Kansas Lakes

On Friday the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) placed tow under a warning for blue-green algae and another two under advisory, including a small lake in Dickinson County…

Based upon sampling results and established health risk levels from the previous sampling season, the state placed Memorial Park Lake in Barton County and Old Herington lake in Dickinson County under a health warning which indicates high levels of toxic blue-green algae have been detected.

A public health warning means water conditions are unsafe and direct water contact (wading, skiing and swimming) should be prohibited.

Atchison City Lake (Lake Warnock), Atchison County and Logan City Lake,  Phillips County, are under a public health advisory, which indicates harmful blue-green algae has been detected and a hazardous condition exists.

Under an advisory, water activities like boating and fishing may be safe; however, direct contact with water (i.e., wading, swimming) is strongly discouraged for people, pets and livestock.

 KDHE samples publicly accessible bodies of water for cyanobacteria, commonly called blue-green algae, when the agency is alerted to a potential algae bloom in Kansas lakes.

When harmful algal blooms are present, KDHE, in cooperation with the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) and other lake managers where appropriate, responds by informing the public of these conditions.

KDWPT reminds visitors that when a lake is under an Advisory or Warning, marinas, lakeside businesses, and park camping facilities remain open for business, although swim beaches will be closed. Park drinking water and showers are safe and not affected by the algae bloom.

Also, it is safe to eat fish caught during a harmful blue-green algae outbreak, as long as consumers clean and rinse the fish with clean, potable water; consume only the fillet portion; and discard all other parts. People should also wash their hands with clean, potable water after handling fish taken from an affected lake.

Kansans should be aware that blooms can develop rapidly, requiring lake visitors to exercise their best judgment. If there is scum, a paint-like surface, or the water is bright green, avoid contact and keep pets away. These are indications that a harmful bloom may be present.

KDHE and KDWPT urge dog owners to be particularly mindful of the presence of blue-green algae.  Dogs that swim in or drink water affected by a harmful algal bloom or eat dried algae along the shore may become seriously ill or die.

KDHE will to provide updates on  the presence of blue-green algae as conditions warrant.

 

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