KDWPT / KDWPT Info / News / News Archive / 2011 Weekly News / Blue-Green 10/28/11 / KDHE UPDATES BLUE-GREEN ALGAE WARNINGS AND ADVISORIES

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KDHE UPDATES BLUE-GREEN ALGAE WARNINGS AND ADVISORIES

October 28, 2011
Three lakes are on the Warning list; no lakes are on the Advisory list
TOPEKA — In a few remaining city and county lakes, blue-green algae populations are still above minimum public safety levels established by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE). State and federal lakes are no longer under any warnings or advisories.

Based upon the latest sampling results and established health risk levels, KDHE issues Warnings and Advisories. A “Warning” is issued when 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) should not occur.

KDHE samples recreational bodies of water for blue-green algae when the agency is alerted to a potential algae bloom. When harmful algae blooms are present, KDHE, in cooperation with the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, responds by informing the public of these conditions.

Health effects from exposure to blue-green algae can vary. The most common complaints after recreational exposure include vomiting, diarrhea, skin rashes, eye irritation and respiratory symptoms. These toxins also cause deaths in pets.

Current concentrations of algae in the following waters exceeded the KDHE recommended level of less than 100,000 cells/ml for recreational water use and are currently under Warning:

  • Memorial Park Lake, Great Bend, Barton County
  • Logan City Lake, Phillips County (Upgraded from an Advisory to a Warning)
  • Warnock Lake, Atchison County (Upgraded from an Advisory to a Warning)

When a Warning is issued, KDHE recommends the following precautions be taken:

  • do not drink lake water;
  • do not swim, wade, or do anything with full-body contact with lake water;
  • clean fish well, consume only the fillet portion, and discard all other parts; and
  • keep pets from having contact with or drinking lake water.

An “Advisory” is issued when harmful blue-green algae have been detected; however, there are no lakes on Advisory status at this time. “Public Health Advisory” indicates that a hazardous condition exists, but water activities such as boating and fishing may be safe. However, direct contact with water (wading, swimming) is strongly discouraged for people and pets.

When a Advisory is issued, KDHE recommends the following precautions be taken:

  • do not drink lake water;
  • avoid swimming, wading, or other activities with full body contact with lake water;
  • clean fish well, consume only the fillet portion, and discard all other parts; and
  • keep pets from having contact with or drinking lake water.

KDHE will continue to monitor these public waters and will update statements as conditions warrant. More information on algae and algae blooms, including up-to-date Advisories and Warnings, can be found at online at www.kdheks.gov/algae-illness/index.htm.
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