County lake replaces reservoir on algae list

Marion County’s two public lakes experienced a reversal of fortune in regard to blue-green algae issues last week.

The July 7 weekly report from the Kansas Depart­ment of Health and Environ­ment listed Marion County Lake on “warning” status for the first time this summer for high levels of toxic blue-green algae.

Meanwhile, Marion Reservoir, which has been listed frequently on the watch or warning list, was not mentioned in the update.

Lakes under a warning are not closed. Marinas and park camping facilities are open for business. If swim beaches are closed, it will be specifically noted. Drinking water and showers at parks are safe and not affected by algae blooms.

Boating and fishing are safe on lakes under a warning, but contact with the water should be avoided. It is safe to eat fish caught during a harmful blue-green algae outbreak, as long as the fish is rinsed with clean water; only the fillet portion is consumed and all other parts are discarded.

Hands should be washed with clean water after handling fish taken from an affected lake.

Pet owners should be aware that animals that swim in or drink water affected by a harmful algal bloom, or eat dried algae along the shore, may become seriously ill or die.