KDWPT / KDWPT Info / News / News Archive / 2012 Weekly News / Blue-green 6/8/12 / KDHE UPDATES BLUE-GREEN ALGAE WARNINGS AND ADVISORIES

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KDHE UPDATES BLUE-GREEN ALGAE WARNINGS AND ADVISORIES

June 8, 2012
Milford, Lovewell Reservoirs added to Advisory List
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 Milford and Lovewell Reservoirs. 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.

Although Milford and Lovewell reservoirs are under a public health advisory, marinas, lakeside businesses, and park camping facilities are open for business. Boating is allowed, but full body contact with the water is discouraged and state park swim beaches will be closed. Park drinking water and showers are safe and not affected by the algae bloom. Also, 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; consume 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.

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:

Milford Reservoir – Geary, Riley and Clay counties (new addition)
Lovewell Reservoir – Jewell County (new addition)
Logan City Lake – Phillips County
Marion Reservoir – Marion County
Marion County Lake – Marion County
Winfield City Lake – Cowley County
Old Herington City Lake – Dickinson County
Overland Park South Lake – Johnson 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.

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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