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Health Warning Issued for Lakes Due to Blue-Green Algae
Kansas Ag Connection - 09/14/2018

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE), in conjunction with the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT), has issued public health warnings for some Kansas lakes for the upcoming weekend and week.

If a lake is under a public health warning for blue-green algae, activities such as boating and fishing may be safe. However, direct contact with water (i.e., wading, skiing and swimming) is strongly discouraged for people, pets and livestock. The lakes currently under a public health advisory:

Warning: Atchison Co. Park Lake, Atchison County

Warning: Atwood Township Lake, Rawlins County

Warning: Carbondale West Lake, Osage County

Warning: Central Park Lake (Pond), Shawnee County

Warning: Frazier Lake, Grant County

Warning: Hodgeman County SFL, Hodgeman County

Warning: Lake Afton, Sedgwick County

Warning: Lake Wabaunsee, Wabaunsee County

Warning: Lakewood Park Lake, Saline County

Warning: Marais Des Cygnes Wildlife Area, Linn County

Warning: Melvern Outlet Pond, Osage County

Warning: Melvern Outlet Swim Pond, Osage County Closure -- Visitors can utilize Coeur d' Alene Park Swim Beach which sets on the main body of the lake, located west of the U.S. Army Corps. Of Engineers Project Office.

Warning: Overbrook City Lake, Osage County

Warning: Rock Garden Pond, Gage Park, Shawnee County

Warning: South Lake Park, Johnson County

Warning: Webster Lake, Rooks County -- Beach is closed. Webster State Park remains open. Drinking water and bath house facilities are not affected by the algae bloom.

Watch: Council Grove City Lake, Morris County

Watch: Lake Scott State Park, Scott County

Watch: Mary's Lake, Douglas County

Watch: Melvern Lake, Osage County

Watch: Pomona Lake, Osage County - Beach is closed.

Watch: Tomahawk Parkway North Pond, Johnson County

The watch on Cottonwood River, south of Emporia in Lyon County has been lifted.

A closed or closure status indicates that conditions are extremely dangerous for humans and pets. Harmful algal toxins and cell counts are at dangerously high levels. Any kind of contact with the waterbody is prohibited.

Lakes under a warning are not closed. Marinas, lakeside businesses and park camping facilities are open for business. If swim beaches are closed, it will be specifically noted. Drinking water and showers at parks are safe and not affected by algae blooms. Boating and fishing are safe on lakes under a warning but contact with the water should be avoided. Hands should also be washed with clean water after handling fish taken from an affected lake. Zoned lakes may have portions fully open for all recreation even if other portions are under a warning.

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.

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