OPEKA– The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) has issued Public Health Warnings for Marion Reservoir, Marion County; and Memorial Park Lake (a.k.a. Veterans Lake), Great Bend due to toxic blue-green algae populations above minimum public safety levels. Logan City Lake in Phillips County remains on the warning list, bringing the total to three so far in 2013.
KDHE samples recreational bodies of water for blue-green algae when the agency is alerted to a potential algae bloom. When harmful algal blooms are present, KDHE, in cooperation with the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) and other lake managers where appropriate, responds by informing the public of these conditions.
KDWPT reminds visitors that when a lake is under an advisory or warning, marinas, lakeside businesses, and park camping facilities remain open for business, although swim beaches will be closed. Park drinking water and showers are safe and not affected by the algae bloom. Also, it is safe to eat fish caught during a harmful blue-green algae outbreak, as long as consumers clean and rinse the fish with clean, potable water; consume only the fillet portion; and discard all other parts. People should also wash their hands with clean, potable water after handling fish taken from an affected lake.
Public Health Warning
A Public Health Warning means high levels of toxic blue-green algae have been detected, indicating that water conditions are unsafe and direct water contact (i.e., wading, skiing and swimming) is prohibited. Kansas public waters currently under “Warning” status:
Logan City Lake – Logan, Phillips County
Marion Reservoir – Marion County (new addition)
Memorial Park Lake (Veterans Lake) – Great Bend, Barton County (new addition)
When a warning is issued, KDHE recommends the following precautions be taken:
•Don’t let people, pets and livestock drink untreated lake water
•Water contact is prohibited. Avoid swimming, wading or other activities with full body contact of lake water, including skiing or using jet-skis
•Clean fish and rinse with clean water, consume only the fillet portion, and discard all other parts
•Do not allow pets or livestock to eat dried algae
•If lake water contacts skin or pet fur, wash with clean potable water as soon as possible
•Avoid areas of visible algae accumulation
Warnings, can be found at online at kdheks.gov/algae-illness.