Jul 31, 2020 8:40 PM

Public health advisories for Kansas lakes due to blue-green algae

Posted Jul 31, 2020 8:40 PM

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

Brown State Fishing Lake, Brown County
Milford Lake Zone B and C, Geary County
South Lake, Johnson County

Mission Lake, Brown County
Ford State Fishing Lake, Ford County
Gathering Pond, Geary County
Milford Lake Zone A, Geary County
Tomahawk Park Lakes (all three), Johnson County
Unit G Marais des Cygnes Wildlife Area, Linn County
Peter Pan Pond, Lyon County (downgraded from warning)
Marion County Lake, Marion County (downgraded from warning)
Marion Reservoir, Marion County (downgraded from warning)
Overbrook City Lake, Osage County
Cheney Reservoir, Reno/Kingman/Sedgwick Counties (downgraded from warning)
Rooks State Fishing Lake, Rooks County (new)
Webster Reservoir, Rooks County
Rock Garden Pond, Shawnee County

Advisories that have been lifted effective July 30:
Elkhorn Lake, Jackson County
Wilderness Lake, Johnson County
Melvern Outlet Pond, Osage County

Warning Protocols
When a warning is issued, KDHE recommends the following precautions be taken:

  1. Lake water is not safe to drink for pets or livestock.
  2. Lake water, regardless of blue-green algae status, should never be consumed by humans.
  3. Water contact should be avoided.
  4. Fish may be eaten if they are rinsed with clean water and only the fillet portion is consumed, while all other parts are discarded.
  5. Do not allow pets to eat dried algae.
  6. If lake water contacts skin, wash with clean water as soon as possible.
  7. Avoid areas of visible algae accumulation.

Watch Protocols
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:

  1. Water may be unsafe for humans/animals.
  2. Avoid areas of algae accumulation and do not let people/pets eat dried algae or drink contaminated water.
  3. Swimming, wading, skiing and jet skiing are discouraged near visible blooms.
  4. 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.
  5. 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, please visit www.kdheks.gov/algae-illness/index.htm. KDHE updates the listings of advisories every Thursday but may update more frequently if needed.