For Immediate Release
June 14, 2012

KDHE Office of Communications
communications@kdheks.gov, 785-296-0461

Public Health Advisories, Warnings Concerning Blue-Green Algae in Kansas Waters

Cedar Bluff Lake Added to Advisory List,
Old Herington Lake Moves to Warning

TOPEKA, Kan. – (June 14, 2012) The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) samples recreational bodies of water for cyanobacteria, commonly called blue-green algae, when the agency is alerted to a potential algae bloom. 

When harmful algal blooms are present, KDHE, in cooperation with the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism and other lake managers where appropriate, responds by informing the public of these conditions. Based upon sampling results and established health risk levels, the following Warnings and Advisories are in place.

KDWPT reminds visitors that when a lake is under an Advisory or Warning, marinas, lakeside businesses, and park camping facilities remain open for business, although swim beaches will be closed. Park drinking water and showers are safe and not affected by the algae bloom. Also, it is safe to eat fish caught during a harmful blue-green algae outbreak, as long as consumers clean and rinse the fish with clean, potable water; consume only the fillet portion; and discard all other parts. People should also wash their hands with clean, potable water after handling fish taken from an affected lake.

CURRENT WARNINGS & ADVISORIES

WARNING Status:  High levels of toxic blue-green algae have been detected. A Public Health Warning indicates that water conditions are unsafe and direct water contact (wading, skiing and swimming) is prohibited. 

Kansas public waters currently under a “Warning” status:

Memorial/Veterans Lake, Great Bend, Barton County
Old Herington City Lake, Dickinson County *previously an Advisory*

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

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

Kansas public waters currently under “Advisory” status:

Cedar Bluff Reservoir, Trego County *New*
Lovewell Reservoir, Jewell County
Milford Lake, Geary, Riley and Clay Counties
Overland Park South Lake, Johnson County
Logan City Lake, Phillips County
Marion Reservoir, Marion County
Winfield City Lake, Cowley County

When an Advisory is issued, KDHE recommends the following precautions be taken: 

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

MEDIA Contact Information:

Miranda Steele, Communications Director
Kansas Department of Health and Environment
785-296-5795 (Office)
785-260-3168 (Mobile)
msteele@kdheks.gov

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

David Kolarik, Chief, Public Affairs
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – KC District
816-389-3072
david.s.kolarik@usace.army.mil

 PUBLIC Contact Information:

Toll Free Number 1-855-HAB-LAKE (1-855-422-5253) - Listen for up-to-date lake conditions

For information on blue-green algae and reporting potential harmful algal blooms, go to:
http://www.kdheks.gov/algae-illness/algae_advisories.htm.