TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNW) The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE), in conjunction with the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT), has issued a public health watch for Marion Reservoir in Marion County due to blue-green algae. The warning for Jerry Ivey Lake in Saline County also continues.
Additionally, KDHE and KDWPT urge Kansans to be aware that with the recent rains, Kansas lakes are at an increased risk to develop algal blooms. This Memorial Day weekend, KDHE urges individuals who may be on Kansas lakes to understand that blooms are unpredictable and may develop rapidly.
Signs of a possible bloom include if there is scum, a paint-like surface or the water is bright 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.
Active advisories include:
- Jerry Ivey Lake, Saline County
- Marion Reservoir, Marion County
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 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.
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.
For information on blue-green algae and reporting potential harmful algal blooms, click here.