For Immediate Release
September 23, 2011

KDHE Office of Communications, 785-296-0461

Levels of Blue Green Algae Decline at Milford Lake

Public Health Advisory remains in effect, experts still advise caution

Topeka—Samples analyzed by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) indicate that the algal cell counts and toxin levels at Milford Lake in Clay, Geary and Dickinson Counties have significantly decreased. While algae is still present, a Public Health Advisory will replace the Warning that has been in effect lake wide.

“We are pleased to see conditions improving at Milford Lake,” explained Tom Langer, Director for KDHE’s Bureau of Environmental Health. “Lake visitors need to be very careful and avoid the visible algae mats that are being left behind as the water continues to fall. Toxins still exist in the algae and if a someone were to ingest some of this matter they could become quite ill. Pet owners especially should keep their animals out of the algae remnants as the toxins that remain are concentrated enough to kill your pet.”

Declining water levels, the seasonal shift to cooler temperatures and shorter daylight periods have combined to help the lake begin to recover. The United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) began releasing water, which had been stored due to flooding on the Missouri River, from Milford Lake in late August. Kansas Department of Wildlife Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) have begun the task of cleaning up facilities that have been flooded all summer long. 

Advisory signs remain posted at Milford Lake and KDHE will resample Milford Lake next week and continue to monitor the algal bloom.

KDHE will release the latest advisories and warnings for other Kansas waters later today.