For Immediate Release
July 15, 2011

KDHE Office of Communications
kdhe.Communications@ks.gov, 785-296-0461

Public Health Information Concerning Blue-Green Algae in Kansas Waters

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) and the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) are actively responding to Harmful Algal Bloom concerns at Kansas Public Waters with site-specific sampling.

Based upon sampling results and established health risk levels, KDHE and KDWPT are issuing warnings and advisories.

WARNING: High levels of toxic blue-green algae have been detected at the following public waters. A Public Health Warning indicates that water conditions are unsafe and direct water contact (wading, skiing, and swimming) should not occur. Current concentrations of algae in these waters exceeded the KDHE recommended level of less than 100,000 cells/ml for recreational water use. 

Kansas public waters currently under warning:

Perry Lake – Rock Creek Arm

Perry Lake – Old Town Public Use Area

Marion County Lake

Memorial Park Lake, Great Bend, Barton County

Meade State Lake, Meade County

When a warning is issued, KDHE recommends the following precautions be taken:

ADVISORY: Harmful blue-green algae have been detected at the following public waters.  A Public Health Advisory indicates that a hazardous condition exists. Water activities like boating and fishing may be safe; however, direct contact with water (wading, swimming) is strongly discouraged for people and pets.

Kansas public waters currently under advisory:

Big Hill Reservoir

Perry Lake

Marion Reservoir

Old Herington City Lake

Logan City Lake, Phillips County

CLOSED SWIM BEACHES: Due to the associated warning levels, the two swimming beaches at Perry Lake are currently closed. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and KDWPT have closed the Perry Park Corps of Engineers Swim Beach and the Perry State Park Beach. PLEASE NOTE: This closure only affects the two beaches. The parks, marinas and lakeside businesses around Lake Perry are open for business as usual, including camping and other recreational activities. The drinking water and showers are safe and not affected by the algae bloom. 

KDHE will continue to monitor these public waters and will update these statements as conditions warrant.

More information on algae and algae blooms including up-to-date conditions can be found at:
www.kdheks.gov/algae-illness/index.htm

Other contacts:

Ron Kaufman, Director of Information Services
Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism
785-296-2281
ron.kaufman@ksoutdoors.com

Diana McCoy
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Kansas City District
816-389-3486