KDWPT / KDWPT Info / News / News Archive / 2011 Weekly News / Blue-green 10/7/11 / ONE LAKE REMOVED FROM BLUE-GREEN ALGAE ADVISORY

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ONE LAKE REMOVED FROM BLUE-GREEN ALGAE ADVISORY

October 7, 2011
Rigg’s Park Lake in Haysville lifted
TOPEKA — Recent testing of Kansas lakes by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) has revealed three changes in blue-green algae levels in the state’s lakes. Samples collected at Rigg’s Park Lake in Haysville were negative, so all warnings and advisories for that lake have been lifted. High levels of algae and toxins were detected in Warnock Lake, in Atchison County, so that lake’s status has been upgraded from “Advisory” to “Warning.” Algae levels at Harvey County East Lake, near Newton, have improved somewhat, so that lake has been downgraded to Advisory status.

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.

Blue-green algae do not affect the drinking water in state parks, and all campgrounds, marinas, and other lakeside businesses remain open for business.

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:

  • Warnock Lake, Atchison County (upgraded from an Advisory)
  • Milford Reservoir — Clay, Geary and Dickinson counties;
  • Logan City Lake — Phillips County;
  • Augusta City Lake — Augusta, Butler County;
  • Augusta Santa Fe Lake — Augusta, Butler County;
  • Harvey County West Lake — Harvey County; and
  • Memorial/Veterans Park Lake — Great Bend, Barton County

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. A “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.

KDHE has issued an Advisory for the following Kansas public waters:

  • Harvey County East Lake, Harvey County (downgraded from Warning);
  • Dillon Park Lake — Hutchinson, Reno County; and
  • Harvey County Camp Hawk Lake.

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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