Pomona Lake back on warning status for blue-green algae – Osage County Online | Osage County News

Pomona Lake back on warning status for blue-green algae

KDHE issues blue-green algae public health advisories for Kansas lakes

TOPEKA, Kan. – The Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks have issued public health advisory updates due to blue-green algae. Pomona Lake in Osage County was added to the warning list June 8, 2023, along with four other Kansas lakes. Four lakes were listed as under watch status, including Marion Lake which had been downgraded from a warning the previous week.

In addition to Pomona Lake, other lakes on the warning list include Big Eleven Lake, Wyandotte County, Webster Lake, Rooks County, Wellington Lake, Sumner County, and Mount Hope-Woodland Park Pond, Sedgwick County. On the watch list are Augusta Santa Fe Lake, Butler County, Harvey County East Lake, Harvey County, Marion Lake, Marion County (lowered June 8), and Milford Lake Zone A, Dickinson and Geary counties.

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

Kansas recognizes three advisory levels for blue-green algae blooms: hazard, warning, and watch. Hazard status indicates that a harmful algal bloom is present, and extreme conditions exist. Warning status indicates that conditions are unsafe for human and pet exposure, and contact with the waterbody should be avoided. 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.

For information on blue-green algae and reporting potential harmful algal blooms, see kdhe.ks.gov/HAB.

Information thanks to KDHE.

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