Melvern Lake blue-green algae health warning downgraded to watch status – Osage County Online | Osage County News

Melvern Lake blue-green algae health warning downgraded to watch status

Melvern Lake remains the only lake in the state this week under a Kansas Department of Health and Environment blue-green algae watch. The Osage County lake was put under a public health advisory last week, with that warning downgraded to a watch on March 11.

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.

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

  • Signage should be posted at all public access locations.
  • Water may be unsafe for humans or animals.
  • Avoid areas of algae accumulation and do not let people or pets eat 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.

A warning status indicates that conditions are unsafe for human and pet exposure. Contact with the waterbody should be avoided.

Anyone who observes a scum or paint-like surface on the water, small floating blue-green clumps or filaments in the water, or if the water is an opaque green, is advised to avoid contact and keep pets away. These are indications that a harmful bloom may be present. 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.

For information about blue-green algae and reporting potential harmful algal blooms, see

See related story: KDHE issues public health advisory for Melvern Lake due to blue-green algae

Information thanks to KDHE.


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