Melvern River Outlet Pond remains under warning for blue-green algae – Osage County Online | Osage County News

Melvern River Outlet Pond remains under warning for blue-green algae

MELVERN, Kan. – As of July 28, 2023, Melvern Outlet River Pond was the only Osage County water body under a health advisory due to blue-green algae. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks issue the public health advisories when blue-green algae conditions are hazardous to humans and animals.

A watch advisory for Strowbridge Reservoir or Carbondale East Lake was lifted July 28, while Melvern Outlet River Pond remains under a warning.

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 but can include rash, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, sore throat, and headache.

The state of Kansas recognizes three advisory levels: hazard, warning and watch. 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. Advisories are lifted when cell densities and toxin concentrations dissipate to levels below the watch thresholds.

Anyone or any dogs that come into contact with algae are advised to 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. For information about blue-green algae and reporting potential harmful algal blooms, see kdhe.ks.gov/HAB.

Information thanks to KDHE.

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