Blue-Green Algae (BGA) Blooms
PUBLIC HEALTH ADVISORY LEVELS: KDHE may issue two levels of public health protection notifications: a Public Health Watch or Public Health Warning. These notification levels are determined by the concentration of a harmful toxin(s) or the concentration of cyanobacteria cell counts.
Public Health Watch–
- Notifies public that a hazardous condition may exist
- Signs may be posted at all public access locations
- Water may be unsafe for humans/animals
- Discourage water contact
Public Health Warning–
- Notifies public that conditions are unsafe
- Signs will be posted at all public access locations
- Water contact should not occur
- All conditions of Public Health Watch remain in effect
Zoned Lakes: Milford, Tuttle Creek and Perry Reservoirs
Some Kansas lakes and reservoirs meet size, depth and shoreline criteria that make it necessary to implement lake zones to more accurately reflect what portions of a specific water body are affected by blue-green algae blooms. Lake Perry, Milford Reservoir, and Tuttle Creek Lake met all of the criteria for zoning. Zones for the three lakes were determined in consultation with the US Army Corp of Engineers. Milford Reservoir and Tuttle Creek Lake each have three zones while Lake Perry has four. A map containing all public lakes and their current status by zone, where applicable, can be viewed here.
To Report an Algal Bloom use the
Why should I be aware of blue-green algae?
Some blue-green algae produce toxins that pose a health risk to people and animals. Health effects could occur when surface scums or water containing high levels of blue-green algal toxins are swallowed, through contact with the skin or when airborne droplets containing toxins are inhaled while swimming, boating, and skiing. A large percentage of the public will report "allergic" type reactions after exposure to blue-green algae, such as intestinal problems, respiratory problems, or skin irritations. Harmful Algae Blooms can appear (or disappear) rapidly. Always be mindful of any unusual look to the lake including a green or brown color, scum, paint-like appearance, or odor.
Kansas has had numerous dog deaths and human
illnesses reported in the past.
What should I do if I see a bloom?
When in Doubt Stay Out. If you see what might be a bloom, please let the lake manager or other lake official know of your concerns and complete the Algal Bloom Report Form. A “Jar Test” will be requested and if the complaint is validated, sampling will begin within that week. Complete the Algal Bloom Report Form, contact us by email at HarmfulAlgae@kdheks.gov, or call 785-296-1664.