Info for Private Waterbody Owners

A resource for private pond owners

A new website has been launched to help owners and managers of private water bodies understand and address Harmful Algal Blooms. This toolkit offers a variety of resources tailored for smaller private water bodies in Kansas; see the toolkit for details.

How are private and public water bodies defined?

As defined in the KDHE Agency Response Plan:

"a private water body is any freshwater reservoir or pond that is both located on and completely bordered by land under common private ownership or is not accessible to the general public (i.e., access by the general public is controlled or restricted in some manner. "

Lakes that are a part of the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism F.I.S.H. and W.I.H.A. Programs will be treated as public waters when these lakes are open to the public, and could be included in HAB response during the HAB season (April 1st to October 31st).

I have a farm pond or own property adjacent to a private lake.

Can KDHE sample and test it?

KDHE does not sample or provide laboratory analysis for private ponds. See our "How do I recognize an algal bloom?" page, which includes photos along with instructions on conducting a Jar Test for a preliminary determination of whether a HAB may be present. Water samples for blue-green algae identification can be submitted to a private laboratory or the Kansas State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory. For more information, please contact KSVDL Client Care at 866-512-5650 or visit their website at

I believe that one of my animals got sick or died from exposure to

blue-green algae on a privately-owned waterbody. Whom do I contact?

Contact your local veterinarian, county extension agent, or the Kansas State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory for help with this issue. Veterinarians or members of the public can complete the secure online form to notify KDHE of a potential pet or livestock illness from HABs. Animal illness reports can be submitted to the KDHE Bureau of Epidemiology. As KDHE does not test private waters for blue-green algae blooms, you will need to go through a private laboratory or the Kansas State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory if you wish to sample the waterbody in question.

For more information...

To see more detailed information on preventing harmful algal blooms in your pond, please see our page, "How can HABs be prevented and controlled?"