blue-green algae

Brian Grimmett / Kansas News Service

WICHITA — Toxic blue-green algal blooms have been causing major problems on Kansas’ lakes since about 2010.

Because the pond scum can make people sick, the lakes became out of bounds for swimmers and the like.

Yet now the phenomenon is costing Kansans money. It’s infiltrating city water systems, triggering slightly more expensive treatments to keep drinking water safe.

Brian Grimmett / Kansas News Service

Seven years ago, a toxic form of algae bloomed in Milford Lake near Junction City. Kansas had never really seen a bloom quite like it before. It lasted for almost three months and has returned every summer since.

The event set state scientists looking for what spurred the blue-green algae, scientifically known as cyanobacteria, and how to stop the return of what is essentially killer pond scum.

http://www.sedgwickcounty.org

Lake Afton is closed to all water contact due to a blue-green algae outbreak.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment issued a public health warning Friday for the upcoming weekend and next week. The warning is effective immediately for the entire lake.

Sedgwick County said in a news release that prohibited water contact includes swimming and water skiing. The county said fishing is permitted but fish kept for eating should be prepared using guidelines established by KDHE.

ARVIN G. BOYER / KANSAS CITY DISTRICT U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS

The Kansas Water Office has received more than $2.5 million from the federal government to help fight harmful algae blooms in the state's largest lake. 

Lake Afton Listed Under Blue-Green Algae Warning

Jul 29, 2016
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, flickr Creative Commons

Lake Afton in western Sedgwick County is under a blue-green algae warning.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) has also issued warnings for Atchison County Park Lake in Atchison County and Overbrook City Lake in Osage County. The lakes under warning aren’t closed, but according to the KDHE, contact with the water can cause serious illness and should be avoided. Pets that swim in or drink the water, or that eat dried algae along the shore, may become seriously ill or die.

Kansas Department of Health and Environment

State health officials have released warnings about two lakes in south central Kansas because of high levels of toxic blue-green algae. Blooms have been found in Cheney Lake and in Marion Reservoir.

According to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, both lakes are still open, but contact with the water is strongly discouraged for people, pets and livestock. Ashton Rucker with the KDHE says blue-green algae can take on a variety of different appearances.

Mark Sadowski, flickr Creative Commons

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has issued a public health warning about the presence of blue-green algae in five lakes including one in Sedgwick County.

High levels of toxic blue-green algae have been detected in Chisholm Creek Park Lake in Sedgwick County.

KDHE Spokesperson Ashton Rucker says the lakes remain open, but caution is advised.

"Even other things, like fishing and boating, can be safe," Rucker says. "We just want to be sure that if you come in contact with the water you’re cleaning yourself with clean water as soon as possible."

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, flickr Creative Commons

Kansas health officials say five lakes around the state currently have toxic algae blooms.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment says warnings for blue-green algae have been issued for Chisolm Creek Park Lake in Sedgwick County, Lovewell State Park Lake in Jewell County, Marion Reservoir in Marion County, Memorial Park Lake in Barton County and Norton Lake in Norton County.

Officials are investigating a large fish kill at a Great Bend lake. Thousands of dead fish have been reported at Veterans Memorial Lake.

Terry Hoff, acting Director of Public Lands for Great Bend, says that most of the fish killed in the lake have been minnows, carp and bass.

Hoff says the city has contacted the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) and the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism to determine the cause.

Kansas health officials have issued warnings for seven lakes around the state because of toxic algae.

The KDHE said Thursday that high levels of toxic blue-green algae have been found at Chisolm Creek Park Lake in Sedgwick County, Marion Reservoir, Memorial Park Lake in Barton County, Milford Reservoir in Clay, Geary and Dickinson counties, Jewell State Fishing Lake, Lake Warnock in Atchison County and South Park Lake in Johnson County.

Warnings mean water conditions aren't safe for direct contact and that wading, skiing and swimming should be prohibited.

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