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

7/20/2012
Miranda Steele, KDHE Communications Director | msteele@kdheks.gov | (785) 296-5795 (Office) | (785) 260-3168 (Mobile)

TOPEKA, Kan. – (July 19, 2012) The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) samples 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.

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:

  • Chisholm Creek North Lake, Sedgwick County
  • Harvey County East Lake, Harvey County
  • Logan City Lake, Phillips County
  • Marion Reservoir, Marion County
  • Memorial/Veterans Lake – Great Bend, Barton County
  • South Lake Park, Johnson 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:

  • Milford Reservoir - NOTE: North of Madison Creek is currently under an Advisory, but south of Madison Creek is not currently under an Advisory or Warning.
  • Atchison County Park Lake, Atchison County
  • Brown County State Fishing Lake, Brown County
  • Centralia Lake, Nemaha County
  • Herington Reservoir, Dickinson County
  • Lake Scott State Park, Scott County
  • Lovewell Reservoir, Jewell 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 these statements as conditions warrant.

For information on blue-green algae and reporting potential harmful algal blooms, go to:
http://www.kdheks.gov/algae-illness/algae_advisories.htm.

Toll Free Number 1-855-HAB-LAKE (1-855-422-5253) - Listen for up-to-date lake conditions

Other Contacts:

Ron Kaufman, Director of Information Services
Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism
785-296-2281
ron.kaufman@ksoutdoors.com

David Kolarik, Chief, Public Affairs
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – KC District
816-389-3072
david.s.kolarik@usace.army.mil

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