Blue-green algae leads to health advisories for Kansas lakes

Local

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNW) – The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE), in conjunction with the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT), issued its listing of public health advisories for Kansas lakes due to blue-green algae Thursday.

A watch for Rock Garden Pond in Shawnee County has been added along with Cheney Lake, which is in Reno, Kingman, and Sedgwick Counties. A current list of watches includes:

  • Kanopolis Reservoir, Ellsworth County
  • Gathering Pond at Milford Reservoir, Geary County
  • Lake Perry Zone D, Jefferson County
  • Marion County Lake, Marion County
  • Cheney Lake, Reno/Kingman/Sedgwick Counties
  • Rock Garden Pond, Shawnee County

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.

Kansans should be aware that blooms are unpredictable. They can develop rapidly and may float around the lake, requiring visitors to exercise their best judgment. 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.

For information on blue-green algae and reporting potential harmful algal blooms, click here.

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