Heading into the Fourth of July weekend, Marion County Lake has rejoined Marion Reservoir as two of eight Kansas lakes that have been placed under a health warning for blue-green algae by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, in conjunction with the Kansas Department of Wildlife Parks and Tourism.
Last week KDHE had upgraded Marion County Lake from “warning” to “watch.” Marion Reservoir was closed to the public June 2, but was reopened a week later. The reservoir has remained under the health warning throughout this period.
If a lake is under a public health warning for blue-green algae, activities such as boating and fishing may be safe, according to KDHE. However, direct contact with water — wading, skiing and swimming — is strongly discouraged for people, pets and livestock.
Joining the two local lakes on the warning list are Keith Sebelius Reservoir, Norton County; Kirwin Lake, Phillips County; Milford Reservoir, Zone C, Geary, Dickinson and Clay counties; Sam’s Pond in Hamilton County; Webster Lake in Rooks County and Wolf Pond, Barton County.
Milford Lake, zones A and B, is under a “watch” as is Overbrook City Lake in Osage County.
When a warning is issued, KDHE recommends the following precautions:
— Lake water is not safe to drink for pets or livestock.
— Lake water, regardless of blue-green algae status, should never be consumed by humans.
— Water contact should be avoided.
— Fish may be eaten as long as they are rinsed with clean water and only the fillet portion is consumed, while all other parts are discarded.
— Do not allow pets to eat dried algae.
— If lake water contacts skin, wash with clean water as soon as possible.
— Avoid areas of visible algae accumulation.