For Immediate Release
August 10, 2012

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

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

2 New Warning Lakes: Antioch Park Lake (South), Johnson County and Central Park Lake, Shawnee County

TOPEKA, Kan. – (Aug. 10, 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:  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:

Antioch Park Lake (South), Johnson County   *new
Central Park Lake, Shawnee County   *new
Harvey County East Lake, Harvey County* same as last week
Harvey County West Park Lake, Harvey County *same as last week
Logan City Lake, Phillips County *same as last week
Memorial/Veterans Lake – Great Bend, Barton County *same as last week
McPherson County SFL, McPherson County *same as last week
South Lake Park, Johnson County *same as last week

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

ADVISORY: 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 an “Advisory” status:

Atchison County Park Lake, Atchison County *same as last week
Brown County State Fishing Lake, Brown County *same as last week
Centralia Lake, Nemaha County *same as last week
Chisholm Creek Park Lake North, Sedgwick County *same as last week
Deanna Rose Farmstead, Johnson County *same as last week
Riggs Park Lake, Sedgwick County *same as last week

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.