Written by Staff Friday, 29 June 2012 07:29
One week after being removed entirely from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment list of lake advisories for blue-green algae -- and just in time for the pre-Fourth of July weekend -- Marion Reservoir returned Thursday to the “warning” level.
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.
Marion Reservoir joins Old Herington City Lake in Dickinson County, Logan City Lake in Phillips County and Memorial/Veterans Lake in Great Bend as the only lakes in the state that generated a “warning,” which indicates a more serious situation than an “advisory.”
When a “warning” is issued, KDHE recommends the following precautions be taken:
-- Humans, pets and livestock do not drink lake water.
-- Water contact is prohibited. Avoid swimming, wading or other activities with full body contact of lake water.
-- Clean fish and rinse with clean water, consume only the fillet portion, and discard all other parts.
-- Do not allow pets to eat dried algae.
-- If lake water contacts skin or pet fur, wash with clean potable water as soon as possible.
-- Avoid areas of visible algae accumulation.
KDWPT, meanwhile, 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.