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BLUE-GREEN ALGAE LEVELS AT MILFORD BACK UP

Sept. 30, 2011
Milford Reservoir upgraded to “Warning,” Marion Reservoir taken off lists
TOPEKA — Recent testing of Kansas lakes by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) has revealed a number of changes in blue-green algae levels in the state’s lakes. Samples collected at Milford Reservoir in Clay, Geary, and Dickinson counties indicate that levels of algae and toxins have increased, so the lake’s status has been upgraded from “Advisory” to “Warning.” Logan City Lake in Phillips County has also been upgraded from Advisory to Warning.

Marion Reservoir, which was previously under an Advisory, has been taken off all listings for blue-green algae. Dillon Park Lake, Harvey County Camp Hawk Lake, and Rigg’s Park Lake in Haysville have been downgraded from Warning to Advisory.

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

Blue-green algae do not affect the drinking water in state parks, and all campgrounds, marinas, and other lakeside businesses remain open for business.

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.

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.

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

  • Milford Reservoir — Clay, Geary and Dickinson counties (upgraded from Advisory);
  • Logan City Lake — Phillips County (upgraded from Advisory)
  • Augusta City Lake — Augusta, Butler County;
  • Augusta Santa Fe Lake — Augusta, Butler County;
  • Harvey County East Lake — Harvey County;
  • Harvey County West Lake — Harvey County; and
  • Memorial/Veterans Park Lake — Great Bend, Barton 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. A “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.

KDHE has issued an Advisory for the following Kansas public waters:

  • Dillon Park Lake — Hutchinson, Reno County (downgraded from Warning);
  • Harvey County Camp Hawk Lake (downgraded from Warning);
  • Warnock Lake — Atchison County;
  • Rigg’s Park Lake — Haysville, Sedgwick County (downgraded from Warning).

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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