For Immediate Release
November 8, 2012

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

2012 Blue-Green Algae Sampling Season Comes to Close

5 Lakes to Stay on Warning or Advisory List

TOPEKA- Five Kansas lakes will remain on the health Warning and Advisory lists for harmful algal blooms until cyanobacteria sampling resumes next year. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) samples recreational bodies of water for cyanobacteria, commonly called blue-green algae, when alerted to a potential bloom during the season, which lasts from April 1 to Oct. 31.

When harmful algal blooms are present, KDHE, in cooperation with the Kansas Department of Wildlife Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) and other lake managers where appropriate, responds by informing the public of these conditions. During the 2012 season, 207 samples were taken from 40 Kansas lakes across 17 counties. KDHE issued public health advisories or warnings for 24 lakes over the course of the season. Two human illnesses related to blue-green algae were confirmed in 2012.

Based upon sampling results and established health risk levels, the following Warnings and Advisories remain in place until next year’s blue-green algae season, or until further notice:

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. 

Logan City Lake, Phillips County 

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. 

Harvey County East Park Lake, Harvey County
Hiawatha Lake, Brown County
McPherson County State Fishing Lake, McPherson County
Memorial/Veterans Lake – Great Bend, Barton County

“Though the conditions for harmful algal blooms—hot weather and minimal water releases from reservoirs, among other conditions—have fallen off, the latest sampling results from this season demonstrate that people who may have water contact (anglers or hunters) should remain aware and take the proper precautions at these impoundments,” said Tom Langer, Director for KDHE’s Bureau of Environmental Health.

MEDIA Contact Information:

Ashton Rucker, Public Information Officer
Kansas Department of Health and Environment
785-291-3684
arucker@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

For information on blue-green algae go to:
http://www.kdheks.gov/algae-illness/algae_advisories.htm.