KDWPT / KDWPT Info / News / News Archive / 2011 Weekly News / Blue-green 11/4/11 / KDHE UPDATES BLUE-GREEN ALGAE WARNINGS

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KDHE UPDATES BLUE-GREEN ALGAE WARNINGS

November 4, 2011
Warnock Lake in Atchison County no longer listed; two lakes remain on the Warning list;
TOPEKA — The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) has determined that this summer’s hazardous conditions at Warnock Lake in Atchison County no longer exist, and the lake is no longer under a blue-green algae Warning or Advisory. Blue-green algae populations are still above minimum public safety levels at two other community lakes, however. No state and federal lakes are under any warnings or advisories.

KDHE samples recreational bodies of water for blue-green algae when the agency is alerted to a potential algae bloom. When harmful algae blooms are present, KDHE, in cooperation with the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, responds by informing the public of these conditions.

KDHE issues Warnings and Advisories based on sampling results and established health risk levels. A “Public Health Warning” is issued when high levels of toxic blue-green algae have been detected, and indicates that water conditions are unsafe, and direct water contact (wading, skiing, and swimming) should not occur.

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. These toxins also cause deaths in pets.

Concentrations of algae in the following waters exceed the KDHE recommended level of less than 100,000 cells/ml for recreational water use and they are currently under Warning:

  • Memorial Park Lake, Great Bend, Barton County
  • Logan City Lake, Phillips County

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 with 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; however, there are no lakes on Advisory status at this time. “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.

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

  • do not drink lake water;
  • avoid swimming, wading, or other activities with full body contact with 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.
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