Blue-green algae closes Michigan Valley swim beach at Pomona Lake

VASSAR, Kan. – The U.S Army Corps of Engineers at Pomona Lake has announced the existence of a blue-green algae bloom at the Michigan Valley swim beach at Pomona Lake.

According to project operations manager Scott Rice, yesterday, Aug. 16, 2018, what appeared to be blue-green algae was noticed in the beach area and around the dam.

“Preliminary tests show the presence of blue green algae,” Rice said. “The beach will be tested Monday by KDHE but for safety reasons the beach has been closed.”

According to an announcement from the Corps, swimming will not be allowed at the Michigan Valley Swim Beach, and all wading and contact with algae is highly discouraged. Visitors are encouraged to use the beach located in Pomona State Park on the south side of the lake.

The Corps reported the most recent tests showed the presence of the toxin microcystin, but noted 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.

Pet owners need to 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 those that eat dried algae along the shore, may become seriously ill.

Boat ramps and lake activities are not affected at this time. 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 the lake and update the status as conditions warrant. For more information contact the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Pomona Lake at 785-453-2201.

The closure of the swim beach marks the third body of water in Osage County to be affected by blue-green algae this summer. On June 29, the Crops issued a health warning for Melvern Lake’s Outlet Park campground and swim beach, and on July 19, the city of Overbrook warned of a blue-green algae bloom at City Lake.

See related stories:
Corps issues public health warning for Melvern Lake’s Outlet Park campground, swim beach
Overbrook puts City Lake on warning status as blue-green algae bloom expected

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