Headed to the lake? You may need to check for blue-green algae

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FILE – In this June 12, 2018, file photo, water experts are urging visitors to keep themselves, their pets and other animals out of parts of Utah Lake, after detecting a potentially toxic blue-green algal bloom in Provo Bay in Provo, Utah. Researchers and officials across the country say increasingly frequent toxic algae blooms are […]

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Due to blue-green algae many lakes in Kansas have been issued public health advisories by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks.

Active advisories include the following:

Warning

  • Altamont City Lake “Idle Hour” Main Lake, Labette County
  • Gathering Pond at Milford, Geary County
  • Harvey County East Lake, Harvey County
  • Hodgeman County State Fishing Lake, Hodgeman County
  • Jerry Ivey Pond, Saline County
  • Lake Afton, Sedgwick County
  • Marion Reservoir, Marion County (elevated Aug. 26)
  • Melvern Outlet Pond, Osage County
  • Melvern Outlet Swim Pond, Osage County
  • Milford Lake Zones A and C, Geary County
  • Neosho County State Fishing Lake, Neosho County
  • South Lake, Johnson County

Watch

  • Altamont City Lake “Idle Hour” North Lake, Labette County
  • Big Hill Lake, Labette County
  • Big Eleven Lake, Wyandotte County
  • Brown State Fishing Lake, Brown County
  • Buhler City Lake, Reno County
  • Ford County Lake, Ford County
  • Lake Jeanette, Leavenworth County
  • Marion County Lake, Marion County 
  • Milford Lake Zone B, Geary County
  • Parsons Lake, Neosho County
  • Pony Creek Lake, Brown County
  • Riverwalk Landing Pond, Geary County
  • Webster Reservoir, Rooks County (lowered Aug. 26)

The KDH recommends the following precautions be taken when a warning is issued:

  • Lake water is not safe to drink for pets or livestock.
  • Lake water, regardless of blue-green algae status, should never be consumed by humans.
  • Water contact should be avoided.
  • Fish may be eaten if they are rinsed with clean water and only the fillet portion is consumed, while all other parts are discarded.
  • Do not allow pets to eat dried algae.
  • If lake water contacts skin, wash with clean water as soon as possible.
  • Avoid areas of visible algae accumulation.

A watch means that blue-green algae have been detected and a harmful algal bloom is present or likely to develop. People are encouraged to avoid areas of algae accumulation and keep pets and livestock away from the water.

The KDH recommends the following precautions be taken when a watch status is issued:

  • Signage will be posted at all public access locations.
  • Water may be unsafe for humans/animals.
  • Avoid areas of algae accumulation and do not let people/pets eat dried algae or drink contaminated water.
  • Swimming, wading, skiing and jet skiing are discouraged near visible blooms.
  • Boating and fishing are safe. However, inhalation of the spray may affect some individuals. Avoid direct contact with water, and wash with clean water after any contact.
  • Clean fish well with potable water and eat fillet portion only.

The KDHE investigates publicly accessible bodies of water for blue-green algae when the agency receives reports of potential algae blooms in Kansas lakes. Based on credible field observation and sampling results, KDHE reports on potentially harmful conditions.

If you observe a scum or paint-like surface on the water, small floating blue-green clumps or filaments in the water, or if the water is an opaque green, avoid contact and keep pets away. These are indications that a harmful bloom may be present.

Pet owners should be aware that animals that swim in or drink water affected by a harmful algal bloom or eat dried algae along the shore may become seriously ill or die.

For information on blue-green algae and reporting potential harmful algal blooms, please visit www.kdheks.gov/algae-illness/index.htm.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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