TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNW) — Two lakes were elevated to warning status, and another lake was added to watch status on the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) blue-green algae watch list on Thursday.

Melvern Outlet (River) Pond in Osage County and Summercrest Lake in Johnson County were both elevated to warning status on Aug. 18. El Dorado Lake in Butler County was added to the watch list the same day.

Milford Lake Zone A in Dickinson and Geary Counties, Milford Lake Zone B in Geary County, and South Lake Park in Johnson County were lifted from the advisory list.

The KDHE and the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) have put eight Kansas lakes and ponds under a warning:

  • Carbondale City Lake (Strowbridge), Osage County
  • Ford County Lake, Ford County
  • Gathering Pond, Geary County 
  • Hain SFL, Ford County 
  • Jerry Ivey Pond, Saline County 
  • Melvern Outlet (River) Pond, Osage County (Elevated on August 18)
  • Milford Lake Zone C, Geary and Clay County 
  • Summercrest Lake, Johnson County (Elevated on August 18)

The KDHE and KDWP have put six ponds and lakes under a watch:

  • El Dorado Lake, Butler County (Added on August 18)
  • Crystal Lake, Anderson County 
  • Lake Scott State Park, Scott County 
  • Louisburg Old Lake (City Lake), Miami County 
  • Marion Reservoir, Marion County 
  • Overbrook City Lake, Osage 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 the 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. 

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 portions 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. 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 more information, you can visit the KDHE’s website by clicking here.