WATER UPDATE: Marion Co.,declared disaster area

Responding to a recurrence of a blue-green algae bloom in Marion County Lake Reservoir in Marion County, Gov. Kathleen Sebelius declared a State of Disaster Emergency for Marion County as a precautionary measure to allow emergency response assistance to communities in the county that need help in getting potable water.

“Our goal is to make sure Kansans have safe, clean water. This declaration will ensure that happens in these communities,” Sebelius said.

Certain kinds of blue-green algae can produce a toxin when they die, which can create a health problem for humans if the toxin level is strong enough.

The cities of Marion, Hillsboro and Peabody all use the Marion County Lake Reservoir for their city water supply. The blue-green algae bloom, which first appeared June 5 and went away, is again visible with the bloom closer to the intake used by the water treatment plants of the cities of Hillsboro and Marion.

In addition to the coordination being done by Kansas Emergency Management, the City of Hillsboro and Kansas Department of Health and Environment collected samples that are being analyzed for specie characterization, toxins and water quality.

Results from out of state laboratories are expected in several days. The Kansas Department of Transportation is providing water tankers for the City of Marion and Hillsboro, as needed.

Hillsboro supplies water to Peabody. In addition, the Salvation Army is making bottled drinking water available to citizens of Marion, Hillsboro and Peabody.

Representatives of the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers were expected to arrive Thursday, June 12, to access the situation.

The Corps of Engineers is authorized to provide water to communities with contaminated water supplies that represent a substantial threat to the public health and welfare.

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