KDHE: Cheney Lake no longer on blue-green algae list, other lakes remain

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Blue-green algae (KSN File Photo)

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — The state has made a change to its list of Kansas lakes and ponds that have blue-green algae, which can be harmful to people and their pets.

It says visitors to these three lakes no longer have to worry about the algae:

  • Cheney Lake, Reno County
  • Fort Scott City Lake, Bourbon County
  • Riverwalk Landing Pond, Geary County

However, sixteen other Kansas lakes and ponds are still under a watch or warning.

Warning (See guidelines below)

  • Eisenhower Park Pond, McPherson County (new)
  • Ford County Lake, Ford County
  • Gathering Pond at Milford, Geary County
  • Jerry Ivey Pond, Saline County
  • Lake Afton, Sedgwick County
  • Lake Jeanette, Leavenworth County
  • Melvern Outlet Pond, Osage County
  • Melvern Outlet Swim Pond, Osage County
  • Neosho Co SFL, Neosho County
  • South Lake, Johnson County

Watch (See guidelines below)

  • Big Eleven Lake, Wyandotte County
  • Colwich City Lake, Sedgwick County
  • Harvey County East Lake, Harvey County
  • Milford Lake Zone C, Geary/Dickinson/Clay Counties
  • Peyton Creek Dam #104, Chase County
  • Roses Lake, Johnson County

Each week, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) and the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) issue the blue-green algae update.

KDHE and KDWP urge Kansans to be aware of active advisories before participating in any water recreation, including boating, waterfowl hunting and fishing. Children and dogs are most susceptible to toxin exposure.

Harmful algae blooms may look like foam, scum or paint floating on the water and be colored blue, bright green, brown or red. Blooms can develop rapidly. If the water appears suspicious or there is decaying algae on the shore, avoid contact and keep dogs away. These toxins can be absorbed by ingestion, inhalation of aerosols and even skin contact. Symptoms vary depending upon the type of exposure (e.g., direct contact, ingestion, inhalation) but can include rash, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, sore throat, and headache. If you, or your dog, come into contact with algae, rinse the area with clean, fresh water.

A Warning status indicates that conditions are unsafe for human and pet exposure. Contact with the waterbody should be avoided. When a warning is issued, KDHE recommends the following precautions be taken:

  • 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 status 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. In addition, during the watch status, KDHE recommends the following precautions be taken:

  • 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

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. In addition, 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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