TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) — The Kansas Dept. of Health and Environment will begin testing for blue-green algae in a Shawnee Co. pond next week, just days after issuing a public health warning for it and several other Kansas lakes and ponds.
According to Shawnee Co. Parks + Recreation, KDHE advised them algal blooms may be present in Central Park Pond and the state agency plans to collect samples from the pond Monday. They expect to get the results on Friday. In the meantime, the county has placed warning signs around it.
On Thursday, KDHE issued four other warnings as well:
- Central Park Pond, Shawnee Co.;
- Marion Co. Lake, Marion Co.;
- Melvern Outlet River Pond, Osage Co.;
- Melvern Outlet Swim Pond, Osage Co.;
- Webster Lake, Rooks Co.
A section of Milford Reservoir that previously been under a warning (Zone B) remains under a watch that now spans the entire reservoir.
- Milford Reservoir (all zones) - Geary, Dickinson, and Clay Counties;
- Overbrook City Lake - Osage Co.;
- Sam's Pond - Hamilton Co.;
- South Lake - Johnson Co.;
- Villa High Lake - Thomas Co.
KDHE says, despite being under a warning, activities like boating and fishing may be safe. However, they "strongly discourage" people, pets, or livestock making direct contact with the water.
Lakes under a warning are not closed. Marinas, lakeside businesses, and park camping facilities are open for business, KDHE said.
KDHE is reminding people who plan on hitting the water this weekend that blooms are unpredictable. They can develop rapidly and float around the lake. If there is scum, a paint-like surface, or the water is bright green, they recommend avoiding the lake and keeping pets away. Pets that swim in or drink water affected by an algal bloom or eat dried algae can become seriously ill or may die.