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BLUE-GREEN ALGAE ALERTS ISSUED FOR WEEK OF JULY 16-20

July 20, 2012
Several lakes and one stream listed
TOPEKA — The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) has released blue-green algae warnings and advisories for testing done the week of July 16-20. When blue-green algae populations are above minimum public safety levels in Kansas lakes, KDHE issues public health advisories and warnings. As a result of this week’s water sampling, health advisories and warnings have been announced at several Kansas lakes and portions of one stream.

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 these lakes are under alert, marinas, lakeside businesses, and park camping facilities are open for business. Boating is allowed, but 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:

  • Chisholm Creek North Lake Sedgwick County
  • Harvey County East Lake Harvey County
  • Logan City Lake — Phillips County
  • Marion Reservoir Marion County
  • Memorial/Veterans Lake Great Bend, Barton County
  • South Lake Park Johnson 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 — NOTE: North of Madison Creek is currently under an Advisory, but south of Madison Creek is not currently under an Advisory or Warning.
  • Atchison County Park Lake — Atchison County
  • Brown County State Fishing Lake — Brown County
  • Centralia Lake — Nemaha County
  • Herington Reservoir — Dickinson County
  • Lake Scott State Park — Scott County
  • Lovewell Reservoir — Jewell 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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