WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — If you are heading to one of the many Kansas lakes for the Labor Day holiday weekend, the state wants you to be aware that you could find toxic blue-green algae in the water.

Three lakes have been added to the warning list, and two have been added to the watch list.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) and the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) published the updated list Friday morning:

Warning

  • Carbondale City Lake (Strowbridge), Osage County
  • Colwich City Lake, Sedgwick County (Added on September 2)
  • Crystal Lake, Anderson County
  • Ford County Lake, Ford County
  • Gathering Pond, Geary County
  • Hain SFL, Ford County
  • Jerry Ivey Pond, Saline County
  • Kingston Lake, Johnson County (Added on September 2)
  • Melvern Outlet (River) Pond, Osage County
  • Milford Lake Zone C, Geary and Clay County
  • Rooks County SFL, Rooks County (Added on September 2)
  • Summercrest Lake, Johnson County 

Watch

  • Lake Scott State Park, Scott County
  • Louisburg Old Lake (City Lake), Miami County (Lowered on September 2)
  • Marion Reservoir, Marion County
  • Milford Lake Zone A, Dickinson and Geary Counties (Added on September 2)
  • Milford Lake Zone B, Geary County (Added on September 2)
  • Overbrook City Lake, Osage County 

What to know about warnings:

  • 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 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.

What to know about watches:

  • 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.

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. 

These toxins can be absorbed by ingestion, inhalation of aerosols and even skin contact.

Symptoms vary 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.

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