KDHE updates blue-green algae advisory for Kansas lakes

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – One lake was downgraded to watch status when the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) updated its blue-green algae advisory list Thursday.

No water bodies have been added to the list of warning states and none are currently in a state of danger.

AND warning status indicates that conditions are unsafe for human and domestic animal exposure. Avoid contact with water flow. Here are the lakes that are currently in warning status:

  • Crystal Lake, Anderson County
  • Ford County Lake, Ford County
  • Gathering Pond, Geary County
  • Jerry Ivey Pond, Saline County
  • Marion Dam, Marion County
  • Melvern Outlet (River) Pond, Osage County
  • Milford Lake Zone A, Dickinson and Geary County
  • Milford Lake Zone B, Geary County
  • Milford Lake Zone C, Geary and Clay County
  • Rooks County SFL, Rooks County
  • South Park Lake, Johnson County

AND tracking status means that blue-green algae have been detected and that a harmful algal bloom is present or likely to occur. People are urged to avoid areas with algae buildup and to keep pets and livestock out of the water. Here are the lakes that are currently being monitored:

  • Carbondale City Lake (Strowbridge), Osage County
  • Kingston Lake, Johnson County (Reduced October 27)

KDHE recommends taking the following precautions when a warning status is issued:

  • Lake water is not safe for pets or livestock.
  • Lake water, regardless of blue-green algae status, should never be consumed by humans.
  • Avoid contact with water.
  • The fish can be eaten if it is rinsed with clean water and only part of the fillet is consumed while all other parts are discarded.
  • Do not allow pets to eat dried algae.
  • If lake water comes into contact with your skin, wash it off with clean water as soon as possible.
  • Avoid areas with visible algae buildup.

KDHE recommends taking the following precautions when a tracking status is issued:

  • The sign will be placed in all publicly accessible places.
  • Water can be dangerous for people/animals.
  • Avoid areas with algae accumulations and do not allow people/pets to eat dried algae or drink contaminated water.
  • Swimming, wading, skiing and jet skis are not recommended near visible flowers.
  • 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 each contact.
  • Clean the fish well with drinking water and eat only fillet portions.

AND state of danger means a harmful algal bloom is present and extreme conditions exist.

When danger KDHE recommends taking the following measures:

  • Signs should be placed in all publicly accessible places
  • It is recommended that either part of the lake or the entire lake or zone be closed to the public.
  • In some cases, the neighboring land should also be closed. Actual bounce distances will be determined on a site-specific basis if necessary.
  • When a partial closure (i.e. beach or bay) occurs, the remaining area of ​​the lake or zone will be in warning status.

KDHE surveys publicly accessible bodies of water for blue-green algae when the agency receives reports of potential algal blooms in Kansas lakes. Based on credible results of field observations and sampling, KDHE reports on potentially harmful conditions.

If you see a scum or similar-colored surface on the water, small floating blue-green clumps or fibers in the water, or if the water is an opaque green, KDHE and KDWP say to avoid contact and keep pets away. These are indications that a harmful bloom may be present.

These toxins can be absorbed through ingestion, inhalation and even skin contact. Symptoms may include rash, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, sore throat, and headache. Pet owners should be aware that animals that swim in the water, drink the water or eat dried seaweed from the shore can become seriously ill or die. If you or your pets come into contact with algae, rinse the area with clean fresh water and report the incident online.

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

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