KDHE places Pomona Lake under blue-green algae warning – Osage County Online | Osage County News

KDHE places Pomona Lake under blue-green algae warning

OSAGE COUNTY, Kan. – Two Osage County lakes are now under public health advisories due to the presence of blue-green algae. Kansas Department of Health and Environment issued a warning advisory for Pomona Lake, May 18, 2023, and Melvern Lake remains under a watch advisory for a second week. The only other Kansas lake currently under an advisory, Big Eleven Lake, in Wyandotte County, was placed on watch status Thursday.

A harmful algal bloom may 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, and inhalation, but can include rash, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, sore throat, and headache. Anyone or their dogs that come into contact with algae is advised rinse the area with clean, fresh water. Suspected HAB-related health incidents, whether human or animal, regardless of season, should be reported at kdhe.ks.gov/1163.

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:

  • Signage should be posted at all public access locations.
  • Inhalation of spray or aerosols may be harmful.
  • 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.

Scum or paint-like surface on the water, small floating blue-green clumps or filaments in the water, or water that is an opaque green should be avoided by humans and dogs should be kept 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 on blue-green algae and reporting potential harmful algal blooms, see kdhe.ks.gov/HAB.

Information thanks to KDHE.

Powered by WordPress