State agencies issue blue-green algae advisories for area lakes – Osage County Online | Osage County News

State agencies issue blue-green algae advisories for area lakes

OSAGE COUNTY, Kan. – Three Osage County Lakes are under public health advisories for blue-green algae this week as the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks updated their list of affected Kansas lakes.

Carbondale City Lake (Strowbridge) was put under a warning advisory Aug. 11, 2022, and Overbrook City Lake was put under a watch advisory the same day. Melvern Outlet (River) Pond remained under a watch status this week.

A warning status indicates that conditions are unsafe for human and pet exposure. Contact with the waterbody should be avoided. A watch status means that blue-green algae have been detected and a harmful algal bloom is present or likely to develop. People are encouraged to avoid areas of algae accumulation and keep pets and livestock away from the water.

When a warning is issued, KDHE recommends the following precautions be taken:

  • Lake water is not safe to drink for pets or livestock.
  • Lake water, regardless of blue-green algae status, should never be consumed by humans.
  • Water contact should be avoided.
  • Fish may be eaten if they are rinsed with clean water and only the fillet portion is consumed, while all other parts are discarded.
  • Do not allow pets to eat dried algae.
  • If lake water contacts skin, wash with clean water as soon as possible.
  • Avoid areas of visible algae accumulation.

During a watch status, KDHE recommends the following precautions be taken:

  • Signage will be posted at all public access locations.
  • Water might be unsafe for humans and animals.
  • Avoid areas of algae accumulation and do not let people or pets ingest dried algae or drink contaminated water.
  • Swimming, wading, skiing and jet skiing are discouraged near visible blooms.
  • Boating and fishing are safe. However, inhalation of the spray may affect some individuals. Avoid direct contact with water, and wash with clean water after any contact.
  • Clean fish well with potable water and eat fillet portion only.

Harmful algal blooms can look like foam, scum or paint floating on the water and be colored blue, bright green, brown or red. Blooms can develop rapidly; if the water appears suspicious or there is decaying algae on the shore, avoid contact and keep dogs away. These toxins can be absorbed by ingestion, inhalation of aerosols and even skin contact. Symptoms vary depending upon the type of exposure, such as direct contact, ingestion, inhalation, but can include rash, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, sore throat, and headache. If humans or dogs come into contact with algae, rinse the area with clean, fresh water. Pet owners should be aware that animals that swim in or drink water affected by a harmful algal bloom or eat dried algae along the shore may become seriously ill or die.

KDHE investigates publicly-accessible bodies of water for blue-green algae when the agency receives reports of potential algae blooms in Kansas lakes. Based on credible field observation and sampling results, KDHE reports on potentially harmful conditions.

For more information about blue-green algae, or to report potential harmful algal blooms, see https://www.kdhe.ks.gov/HAB.

Information thanks to KDHE.

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