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Four Warnings, Seven Watches For Toxic Algae

Todd PittengerJuly 3, 2020

If you will be spending time over the Independence Day Weekend at a Kansas lake, officials caution to be aware of the four warnings and seven watches due to toxic blue-green algae.

The following health advisories have been issued:

Warning:

  • Cheney Lake, Reno/Kingman/Sedgwick Counties (upgraded to warning)
  • Gathering Pond at Milford Reservoir, Geary County
  • Peter Pan Pond, Lyon County
  • Marion Lake, Marion County

Watch

  • Mission Lake, Brown County
  • Lake Perry Zone C and Zone D, Jefferson County
  • Rock Garden Pond, Shawnee County
  • Washington County State Fishing Lake, Washington County
  • Lovewell Reservoir, Jewell County
  • Marion Reservoir, Marion County
  • Norton Lake (Sebelius), Norton County (new)

When a warning is issued, state health officials 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.
  • Protect and Improve the Health and Environment of all Kansans
  • 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.

The state 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, reports are compiled 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.

Copyright © Rocking M Media, 2020. All Rights Reserved. No part of this story may be reproduced without Rocking M Media’s express consent.

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