12 Warnings For Toxic Algae, 14 Watches

The pond at Salina’s Jerry Ivey Park continues to be among 12 bodies of water in Kansas under a public health warning. Additionally, another 14 are under a watch. Additionally, a half-dozen advisories which had been in effect have been lifted.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment in conjunction with the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism has issued public health advisories for four Kansas lakes and ponds  due to toxic blue-green algae.


  • Altamont City Lake “Idle Hour” Main Lake, Labette County
  • Gathering Pond at Milford, Geary County
  • Harvey County East Lake, Harvey County
  • Hodgeman County State Fishing Lake, Hodgeman County
  • Jerry Ivey Pond, Saline County
  • Lake Afton, Sedgwick County
  • Melvern Outlet Pond, Osage County
  • Melvern Outlet Swim Pond, Osage County
  • Milford Lake Zones A and C, Geary County
  • Neosho County State Fishing Lake, Neosho County
  • South Lake, Johnson County
  • Webster Reservoir, Rooks County


  • Altamont City Lake “Idle Hour” North Lake, Labette County
  • Big Hill Lake, Labette County
  • Big Eleven Lake, Wyandotte County
  • Brown State Fishing Lake, Brown County
  • Buhler City Lake, Reno County
  • Ford County Lake, Ford County (lowered Aug. 19)
  • Lake Jeanette, Leavenworth County (lowered Aug. 19)
  • Marion County Lake, Marion County (lowered Aug. 19)
  • Marion Reservoir, Marion County
  • Milford Lake Zone B, Geary County
  • Parsons Lake, Labette County
  • Pony Creek Lake, Brown County
  • Protect and Improve the Health and Environment of all Kansans
  • Riverwalk Landing Pond, Geary County (new)

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.

Additionally, Kansans are urged to be aware that with the recent rains, 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.