Corps issues public health warning for Melvern Lake’s Outlet Park campground, swim beach

The U.S Army Corps of Engineers announced Friday the existence of a blue-green algae bloom at the Outlet Park campground (River Pond) and swim beach downstream of Melvern Lake. Blue-green algae identification tests have confirmed the presence of the algae.

The most recent tests showed the presence of the toxin microcystin, but levels can increase or decrease on a daily basis. Hot and sunny weather conditions combined with high nutrient levels create ideal conditions for harmful algae bloom growth. Swimming is now prohibited at the Outlet Park swim beach, and all wading and contact with algae is highly discouraged.

Pet owners should be particularly mindful of the presence of blue-green algae. Dogs are highly susceptible to algae toxins and frequently ingest concentrated toxins from shoreline areas. Pets that swim in or drink water affected by a harmful algal bloom, or that eat dried algae along the shore may become seriously ill.

The present algae bloom is isolated to the Outlet Park River Pond and swim beach area below Melvern Lake. Boat ramps and lake activities are not affected. Marinas, lakeside businesses and park camping facilities are open for business. Drinking water and showers at parks are safe and not affected by algae blooms.

Kansas Department of Health and Environment will continue to monitor these public waters and will update the status as conditions warrant. For more information contact the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Melvern Lake at 785-549-3318.

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