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Blue-green algae warnings, watches set for lakes in the state

Newton Kansan

TOPEKA — With the Fourth of July Holiday coming up and people flocking to the lakes, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment has issued five warnings and seven watches over blue-green algae.

Placed under warning are:

• Gathering Pond at Milford Reservoir, Geary County

• Lovewell Reservoir, Jewell County

• Peter Pan Pond, Lyon County

• Marion Reservoir, Marion County

• Marion Lake, Marion County

According to the state release, 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.

Placed under watch are:

• Mission Lake, Brown County

• Kanopolis Reservoir, Ellsworth County

• Lake Perry Zone C and Zone D, Jefferson County

• Cheney Lake, Reno/Kingman/Sedgwick Counties

• Rock Garden Pond, Shawnee County

• Washington County State Fishing Lake, Washington County

Under a watch, the state said, 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.

The KDHE recommends the following precautions are 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.

The KDHE said it investigates publicly accessible bodies of water for blue-green algae when the agency receives reports of potential algae blooms in Kansas lakes. KDHE reports on potentially harmful conditions based on credible field observation and sampling results.

Signs of blue-green algae include a paint-like surface, scum or bright green water.

Pets should be kept away from water with blue-green algae and should not be permitted to eat dried algae along the shore. Contact can make the pet ill or could kill the pet.

More information is available at www.kdheks.gov/algae-illness/index.htm.