Left menu

KDWPT Info Menu



LATEST BLUE-GREEN ALGAE ALERTS

Cheney added to Warning list, Advisory lifted at Perry, conditions improve at Milford
TOPEKA — The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) is continuing to monitor and test Kansas lakes for the presence of harmful blue-green algae. Blue-green algae are natural, common bacteria in all waters of Kansas. Ordinarily, they are not harmful to humans or aquatic life, but under certain conditions — especially during the heat of the summer — they can multiply rapidly, resulting in a “bloom.” When this happens, blooms may release toxins that are dangerous to fish, pets, and humans. Some algae blooms look like foam or thick slurry. They can be blue, bright green, brown, or red and may look like paint floating on the water. Some blooms may not affect the appearance of the water. At some locations, this summer’s prolonged heat spell may have created better than normal conditions for algae blooms.

Samples from some areas of Cheney Reservoir showed high levels of blue-green algae and prompted KDHE to add Cheney to the Warning list late Friday afternoon. The good news is that the advisories for Perry Lake in Jefferson County and Marion Lake in Marion County have been lifted. Officials still advise lake users to remain alert and use caution. Conditions at Milford Lake in Geary County have improved, and most of Milford Lake has been downgraded to an Advisory. Two areas at Milford are still under a Warning – Wakefield Beach and Timber Creek Ramp.

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.

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:

 

  • Cheney Reservoir, Kingman, Reno and Sedgwick counties (new listing)
  • Riggs Park Lake, Haysville, Sedgwick County (new listing)
  • Santa Fe Lake Augusta, Butler County;
  • Memorial Park Lake, Great Bend, Barton County;
  • Meade State Lake, Meade County;
  • Milford Lake’s Wakefield Beach (Entire lake is under an Advisory, see below.)
  • Milford Lake’s Timber Creek Ramp (Entire lake is under an Advisory, see below.)

 

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 of 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:

 

  • Big Hill Reservoir, Labette County;
  • Marion County Lake, Marion County;
  • Logan City Lake, Phillips County; and
  • Milford Lake, Geary County

 

In addition, KDHE recommends the following precautions be taken:

 

  • do not drink 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.

-30-