Blue-green algae advisories lifted for Pomona and Melvern lakes for Memorial Weekend – Osage County Online | Osage County News

Blue-green algae advisories lifted for Pomona and Melvern lakes for Memorial Weekend

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has lifted blue-green algae public health advisories at Melvern Lake and Pomona Lake as of May 25, 2023. Pomona was placed under a blue-green algae warning advisory last week, while Melvern was under a watch status. With the advisories lifted for Pomona and Melvern lakes, only two other lakes in Kansas are under a warning or watch status for the Memorial Day weekend. Marion Lake and Norton Lake were both placed on the warning list Thursday.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks are responsible for issuing public health advisory updates due to harmful blooms of blue-green algae.

Lake users are advised to watch for harmful algal blooms, even on lakes that are not under advisories. 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.

Algal 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.

Any people or dogs that come into contact with algae should rinse the area with clean, fresh water. Suspected harmful agal bloom related health incidents, whether human or animal, regardless of season, should be reported at kdhe.ks.gov/1163.

People who observe 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, should avoid contact with the water 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 kdhe.ks.gov/HAB.

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