Blue-green algae closes Michigan Valley Swim Beach for Labor Day weekend – Osage County Online | Osage County News

Blue-green algae closes Michigan Valley Swim Beach for Labor Day weekend

VASSAR, Kan. – For the second time this summer, weekend visitors to Pomona Lake will be greeted with the closure of Michigan Valley Swim Beach, after test results showed the presence of blue-green algae.

Friday morning, Aug. 31, 2018, U.S Army Corps of Engineers officials announced Michigan Valley Swim Beach would be closed during the Labor Day weekend, after receiving positive test results for the algae Thursday.

“Once again not so great news entering the holiday weekend,” said Scott Rice, USACE operations manager at the lake. “Tests results from the Michigan Valley beach received yesterday afternoon showed the presence of blue green algae.

“Officials will continue to monitor the lake, but the entire lake remains in a watch status,” he said. “We encourage visitors to be vigilant of lake signage and to understand conditions could change along with the weather.”

Hot and sunny weather conditions combined with high nutrient levels create ideal conditions for harmful algae bloom growth.

Rice said samples will be taken again next week by Kansas Department of Health and Environment, and those results should be known next Friday afternoon. KDHE will update the lake’s status as conditions warrant.

The swim beach was closed previously on Aug. 17, but it was reopened on Aug. 24.

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. Area businesses and park camping facilities are open. Drinking water and showers at parks are safe and not affected by algae blooms.

For more information contact the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Pomona Lake at 785-453-2201 or see the KDHE website at

See related story: Michigan Valley swim beach reopened; algae test shows negative results

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