KDWPT / KDWPT Info / News / News Archive / 2012 Weekly News / Blue-green Algae 7-13-12 / CURRENT BLUE-GREEN ALGAE WARNINGS AND ADVISORIES

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CURRENT BLUE-GREEN ALGAE WARNINGS AND ADVISORIES

July 13, 2012

Warning lifted at Old Herington City Lake

TOPEKA — The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) is continuing regular testing of recreational bodies of water for blue-green algae. 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. This past week’s testing of samples resulted in the warnings and advisories listed below, as well as the Public Health Warning being lifted at Old Herington City Lake.

When an advisory has been lifted, health officials advise lake visitors to still exercise caution and look out for algae blooms in the water, as conditions can change quickly depending on the weather. Some algae blooms can look like foam or a thick slurry. The blooms can be blue, bright green, brown or red, and they may look like paint floating on the water.

CURRENT PUBLIC HEALTH WARNINGS

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:

Herington Reservoir, Dickinson County

Logan City Lake, Phillips County

Marion Reservoir, Marion County

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

 

CURRENT PUBLIC HEALTH ADVISORIES

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:

Brown County State Fishing Lake, Brown County

Lovewell Reservoir, Jewell County

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. 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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