KDWPT / KDWPT Info / News / News Archive / 2012 Weekly News / Blue-green 5/25/2012 / KDHE UPDATES BLUE-GREEN ALGAE WARNINGS AND ADVISORIES

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KDHE UPDATES BLUE-GREEN ALGAE WARNINGS AND ADVISORIES

May 25, 2012
One lake added to Advisory list; three others show improvement
TOPEKA — Because blue-green algae populations are above minimum public safety levels, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHW) has issued a new Public Health Advisory for one public lake and has downgraded three others from a Warning to the less-severe Advisory level. 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

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 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 “Advisory” status:

Logan City Lake, Logan, Phillips County (new addition)
Marion Reservoir – Marion, Marion County (downgraded from Warning)
Marion County Lake – Marion, Marion County (downgraded from Warning)
Winfield City Lake – Winfield, Cowley County (downgraded from Warning)
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 fillet portion, and discard all 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. NOTE: 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; eat 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.

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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