The Kansas Department of Health and Environment is advising the public to avoid contact with water at the following locations: Central Park Lake, Shawnee County; Centralia City Lake, Nemaha County; Meade State Lake, Meade County; and Veteran’s Lake, Barton County (Great Bend).
KDHE has confirmed toxic blue-green algae blooms in the above waters. Current concentrations of algae in these waters exceeded the KDHE recommended level of 100,000 cells/ml for recreational water use. Elevated levels of toxins from the algae were also confirmed.
“Blue-green algae blooms are naturally occurring events that are seasonal,” said John Mitchell, state environmental officer and director of KDHE’s Division of Environment. “The blooms may die off after several weeks or several months, depending on the heat and environmental conditions.”
KDHE recommends the following precautions be taken:
• Do not drink the lake water
• Avoid swimming, wading or other activities with full body contact of lake water
• Clean fish well, consume only the fillet portion, and discard all other body parts
• Keep pets from having contact with or drinking the water
Contact with the water, such as wading or swimming, can cause a skin rash, as well as eye, ear and throat irritation. Drinking or breathing in aerosols (such as from jet skiing or boating) of contaminated water can cause diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, fever, fatigue and flu-like symptoms. If you develop similar symptoms after contact with the lake water, seek medical care from your health-care provider.
Animals, especially dogs, can also become ill as a result of coming into contact with or drinking the water. If your pet becomes ill soon after contact with the water, call your veterinarian right away.
Lake samples were taken by KDHE earlier this week and samples will be taken again during the coming week. KDHE may revise or lift the public health warning based on future test results.
KDHE will continue to monitor the situation and rescind this warning as soon as conditions warrant. If the public has any questions or concerns, KDHE can be contacted during normal business hours at 866-865-3233.
Further information on algae and algae blooms can be found at: www.kdheks.gov/befs/download/bibliography/BlueGreenAlgaeFactsheet_CEC_2004.pdf.