TOPEKA (KSNT) – Blue-green algae is on the rise in several Kansas lakes this year.
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) said in an email that two lakes have reached warning-level status due to the presence of harmful blue-green algae. This toxic water hazard poses many health risks to both humans and animals.
KDHE spokesman Matthew Lara said Marion Lake in Marion County and Norton Lake in Norton County now contain high amounts of blue-green algae and are classified at the warning-level. Melvern Lake and Pomona Lake in Osage County and Big Eleven Lake in Wyandotte County were taken off the list for blue-green algae advisories.
According to the KDHE, a warning advisory for blue-green algae means conditions are not safe for humans or animals in the water. Contact with the water, especially visible signs of blue-green algae and harmful algal blooms (HABs), should be avoided. A HAB may appear as foam, scum, or paint floating on the water’s surface and be colored blue, bright green, brown or red.
According to the KDHE, toxins emitted by a HAB can cause rashes, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, sore throat and a headache. If you or a pet comes into contact with the algae, rinse the impacted area clean with fresh water. If you come into contact with an HAB, reach out to the KDHE by filing a report online here.