Michigan Valley swim beach reopened; algae test shows negative results

VASSAR, Kan. – The U.S Army Corps of Engineers announced today, Aug. 24, 2018, that the Michigan Valley Park swim beach is back open after receiving negative test results for blue-green algae this week.

“The swim beach is back open,” said Scott Rice, operations manager for Pomona Lake. “Officials are still monitoring the lake and have placed the Management Boat Ramp in a watch status. We encourage visitors to be vigilant of lake signage and to understand conditions could change along with the weather.”

The swim beach was closed last week after what appeared to be blue-green algae was noticed in the beach area and around the dam. At that time, 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.

All swimming and wading while the algae is present is discouraged, and contact with the algae should be avoided. 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.

Kansas Department of Health and Environment will continue to monitor the lake and will update the status as conditions warrant. For more information contact the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Pomona Lake at 785-453-2201.

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