FORD COUNTY, Kan. (KSNW) – With the hot temperatures stretching across the state, blue-green algae populations are exploding, leaving several lakes and reservoirs under KDHE warnings and watches.
Ford State Lake is a popular fishing lake located just outside of Dodge City. It is among the nearly 13 other lakes now under the watchful eye of the KDHE for blue-green algae.
Blue-green algae is a type of bacteria present in all freshwater environments.
But when temperatures rise and water becomes stagnant, the bacteria can explode in population and form blooms.
These blooms can be dangerous to pets, livestock, and people, causing severe illness and even death.
“The danger is prolonged exposure. That’s why we have the warnings. We have a watch and a warning and people can still have activities. They just can’t be swimming in the water,” said Manuel Torres, Southwest District Public Lands Regional Supervisor.
Now there are some safety precautions you should consider if you do plan to go to a lake that has blue-green algae, such as avoid direct contact with the water, keep pets on a leash, and if you do get the algae on your skin, rinse it off immediately.
“People just need to be cautious. They don’t need to be alarmed. Just be cautious, take care of you animals, take care of yourself, and you will be fine,” said Torres.
For more information on the current state of blue-green algae in the state as well as other safety precautions you can take, click here.