KDWPT / KDWPT Info / News / News Archive / 2013 Weekly News / 6-13-13 / KANSAS DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENT ISSUES BLUE-GREEN ALGAE WARNING

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KANSAS DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENT ISSUES BLUE-GREEN ALGAE WARNING

June 13, 2013

 

Toxic blue-green algae bloom affecting two more lakes; no state or federal lakes affected

 

TOPEKA– The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) has issued Public Health Warnings for Marion Reservoir, Marion County; and Memorial Park Lake (a.k.a. Veterans Lake), Great Bend due to toxic blue-green algae populations above minimum public safety levels. Logan City Lake in Phillips County remains on the Warning list, bringing the total to three so far in 2013.

 

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.

 

KDWPT reminds visitors that when a lake is under an Advisory or Warning, marinas, lakeside businesses, and park camping facilities remain open for business, although 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 means high levels of toxic blue-green algae have been detected, indicating that water conditions are unsafe and direct water contact (i.e., wading, skiing and swimming) is prohibited. Kansas public waters currently under “Warning” status:

 

Logan City Lake – Logan, Phillips County

 

Marion Reservoir – Marion County (new addition)

 

Memorial Park Lake (Veterans Lake) – Great Bend, Barton County (new addition)

 

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

  • Don’t let people, pets and livestock drink untreated lake water
  • Water contact is prohibited. Avoid swimming, wading or other activities with full body contact of lake water, including skiing or using jet-skis
  • 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 means harmful levels of blue-green algae have been detected, indicating 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:

 

None

 

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 filet portion, discarding 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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