KDWPT / KDWPT Info / News / News Archive / 2012 Weekly News / Blue-Green 11-9-12 / 2012 Blue-Green Algae Sampling Season Closes

Left menu

KDWPT Info Menu



2012 Blue-Green Algae Sampling Season Closes

November 9, 2012

Five lakes will stay on Warning or Advisory List

TOPEKA — On Nov. 8, 2012, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) reported that it has ceased blue-green algae sampling efforts for the remainder of 2012. The sampling season typically runs from April 1 to October 31. Five Kansas lakes will remain on its official Warning or Advisory lists until sampling resumes next year.

When harmful algal blooms are present in recreational waters, 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. According to KDHE, during the 2012 season, 207 samples were taken from 40 Kansas lakes across 17 counties. KDHE issued public health advisories or warnings for 24 lakes over the course of the season. Two human illnesses related to blue-green algae were confirmed in 2012.

The following Warnings and Advisories will remain in place until next year’s blue-green algae season, or until further notice:

Current Public Health Warnings

A Public Health Warning indicates that water conditions are unsafe and direct water contact (wading, skiing and swimming) is prohibited. These Kansas public waters are currently under “Warning” status:

• Logan City Lake — Phillips 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 (wading, swimming) is strongly discouraged for people, pets, and livestock. These Kansas public waters are currently under “Advisory” status:

• Harvey County East Lake — Harvey County
• Hiawatha Lake — Brown County
• McPherson County State Fishing Lake — McPherson County
• Memorial/Veterans Lake — Great Bend, Barton County (downgraded from a Warning)

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.

“Though the conditions for harmful algal blooms—hot weather and minimal water releases from reservoirs, among other conditions—have fallen off, the latest sampling results from this season demonstrate that people who may have water contact (anglers or hunters) should remain aware and take the proper precautions at these impoundments,” said Tom Langer, Director for KDHE’s Bureau of Environmental Health.

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. More information on algae and algae blooms, including up-to-date Advisories and Warnings, can be found at online at kdheks.gov/algae-illness.

-30-