PUBLIC HEALTH ADVISORY CONTINUES FOR LOVEWELL RESERVOIR IN JEWELL COUNTY
Reservoir remains closed; Lovewell State Park open
LOVWELL RESERVOIR — While conditions at Lovewell Reservoir in Jewell County continue to improve, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) is continuing to advise the public to avoid contact with water in Lovewell Reservoir in Jewell County.
On July 16, KDHE issued a public health advisory after confirming a toxic blue-green algae bloom in the reservoir. Concentrations of algae in the reservoir exceed the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended level of 100,000 cells/ml for recreational water use. Elevated levels of toxins from the algae were also confirmed.
Samples from the lake will be taken again next week, and if cell counts continue to decline, KDHE may revise or lift the public health advisory. But at the present time, the public health advisory does remain in effect. The Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) has announced the lake will remain closed until further notice. However, Lovewell State Park is open.
KDHE continues to recommend the following precautions be taken at Lovewell Reservoir:
- avoid ingesting reservoir water;
- avoid swimming or wading in reservoir water;
- avoid consuming any fish or shellfish from the reservoir until further notice as fish; and shellfish may absorb toxins from the bloom.
The irrigation canals were also sampled this week and results were below the WHO recommended limit. Subsequently, the irrigation canals are no longer part of the public health advisory.
Exposure to the algae or its toxins can cause illness and is dependent on the route of the exposure. Contact with the water, such as wading or swimming, can cause a skin rash, as well as eye, ear and throat irritation. Ingestion or inhaling aerosols (such as from personal watercraft or boating) of contaminated water can cause diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, fever, fatigue and flu-like symptoms. If you develop similar symptoms after contact with the reservoir water, seek medical care from your healthcare provider.
Animals, especially dogs, can also become ill. If your pet becomes ill soon after contact with the water, contact your veterinarian right away.
KDHE and Kansas Department of Wildlife & Parks will continue to monitor the situation and rescind this advisory as soon as conditions warrant. If the public has any questions or concerns, KDHE can be contacted during normal business hours at 785-291-3092.
Further information on algae and algae blooms can be found at: www.kdheks.gov/befs/download/bibliography/BlueGreenAlgaeFactsheet_CEC_2004.pdf