TOPEKA (KSNT) – Several public health advisories were issued for Kansas lakes due to the presence of blue-green algae on Thursday.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks issued many warnings on May 26. The active warnings are for the following waterbodies:

  • Big Eleven Lake, Wyandotte County
  • Colwich City Lake, Sedgwick County
  • Gathering Pond, Geary County
  • Jerry Ivey Pond, Saline County

The warning status signifies that conditions are unsafe for both humans and pets. Contact with bodies of water under these conditions should be avoided. The water should also not be consumed, and fish should not be eaten from these waters.

People are advised to keep an eye out for harmful algal blooms or HABs which may appear as foam, scum or paint floating on the water and that might be blue, bright green, brown or red in coloration. These blooms can develop rapidly in the water and people should avoid contact. The algae toxins can be ingested, inhaled by aerosols or by skin contact.

Symptoms can differ depending on the type of exposure but can include rashes, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, sore throat or headache. Pets risk illness or death if they swim or drink waters affected by the algae.

If you or your dog encounter the algae, the KDHE says to rinse the area with clean and fresh water. All incidents should be reported to the KDHE. For more information on blue-green algae and to report sightings of harmful algal blooms, click here.