KDWPT / KDWPT Info / News / News Archive / 2012 Weekly News / Blue-green 5/18/12 / KDHE ISSUES BLUE-GREEN ALGAE WARNINGS AND ADVISORIES

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KDHE ISSUES BLUE-GREEN ALGAE WARNINGS AND ADVISORIES

May 18, 2012

Blue-green algae blooms affecting five public lakes

TOPEKA — The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) has issued a Public Health Advisory for one public lake and a Public Health Warning for four public lakes due to blue-green algae populations above minimum public safety levels. KDHE samples recreational bodies of water for 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 (KDWPT) and other lake managers where appropriate, responds by informing the public of these conditions.

Public Health Warning

A Public Health Warning indicates that water conditions are unsafe and direct water contact (i.e., wading, skiing and swimming) is prohibited. Kansas public waters currently under “Warning” status:

Memorial/Veterans Lake – Great Bend, Barton County

Marion Reservoir – Marion, Marion County

Marion County Lake – Marion, Marion County

Winfield City Lake – Winfield, Cowley County

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

  • Don’t let people, pets and livestock drink untreated lake water
  • Don’t swim, wade or engage in other activities with full body contact of lake water, including skiing or jet-skiing
  • Clean fish and rinse with clean water, consume only the fillet portion, and discard all other parts
  • Do not allow pets or livestock 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

Public Health Advisory

A Public Health Advisory indicates that a hazardous condition exists. Water activities such as 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 “Advisory” status:

Old Herington City Lake – Herington, Dickinson County

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

  • Don’t let people, pets and livestock drink untreated lake water
  • Clean fish and rinse with clean water, consume only the filet portion, and discard 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

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. Blue-green algae toxins can also cause deaths in pets.

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 kdheks.gov/algae-illness.

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