July 31, 2013

KDHE Office of Communications, 785-296-0461

KDHE Responds to Reported Substance in Cottonwood River in Lyon Co.

Samples Identified as Non-toxic Algae

TOPEKA, Kan. - The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) has examined water samples taken from the Cottonwood River in Lyon County in response to a report on Sunday, July 28, of an oil slick in the water. KDHE has determined that the substance was a non-blue-green algal bloom and poses no risk to public health.

“These types of blooms can occur in slow moving, low flow streams and rivers during the summer months,” said Tom Langer, Bureau of Environmental Health Director. “While this algae is visible on the water surface, it is not a health concern. The abundant rainfall during the last few days will effectively eliminate the bloom.”

Additional analysis was done that showed no presence of hydrocarbons (petroleum) in the water, in response to the initial report.