Public Health Advisories, Warnings On Blue-Green Algae in Kansas Waters

By: From 13 News, KDHE, Posted by Ralph Hipp
By: From 13 News, KDHE, Posted by Ralph Hipp


TOPEKA – The Kansas Department of Health and Environment is sampling recreational bodies of water for cyanobacteria, commonly called blue-green algae, when the agency is alerted to a potential algae bloom.

When harmful algal blooms are present, KDHE, in cooperation with the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism and other lake managers where appropriate, responds by informing the public of these conditions. Based upon sampling results and established health risk levels, the following Warnings and Advisories are in place.

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.

As a result of this week’s water sampling, the health warning has been lifted at Old Herrington City Lake.

When an advisory has been lifted, health officials say visitors to the lake should still exercise caution and look out for algae blooms in the water, as conditions can change quickly depending on the weather. Some algae blooms can look like foam, or a thick slurry. The blooms can be blue, bright green, brown or red, and they may look like paint floating on the water. However, some blooms may not affect the appearance of the water.

CURRENT WARNINGS & ADVISORIES
WARNING: High levels of toxic blue-green algae have been detected. A Public Health Warning indicates that water conditions are unsafe and direct water contact (wading, skiing and swimming) is prohibited.

Kansas public waters currently under a “Warning” status:
Herrington Reservoir, Dickinson County
Logan City Lake, Phillips County
Marion Reservoir, Marion County
Memorial/Veterans Lake – Great Bend, Barton County

When a Warning is issued, KDHE recommends the following precautions be taken:
· Humans, pets and livestock do not drink lake water
· Water contact is prohibited. Avoid swimming, wading or other activities with full body contact of lake water
· Clean fish and rinse with clean water, consume only the fillet portion, and discard all other parts
· Do not allow pets to eat dried algae
· If lake water contacts skin or pet fur, wash with clean potable water as soon as possible
· Avoid areas of visible algae accumulation

ADVISORY: Harmful blue-green algae have been detected. A Public Health Advisory indicates that a hazardous condition exists. 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.

Kansas public waters currently under an “Advisory” status:
Brown County State Fishing Lake, Brown County
Lovewell Reservoir, Jewell County
South Lake, Johnson County

When an Advisory is issued, KDHE recommends the following precautions be taken:
· Humans, pets, and livestock do not drink untreated lake water
· Clean fish and rinse with clean water, consume only the fillet portion, discarding other parts
· Do not eat or allow pets to eat dried algae
· If lake water comes in contact with skin or pet fur, wash with clean potable water as soon as possible
· Avoid areas of visible algae accumulation

KDHE will continue to monitor these public waters and will update the conditions.


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