Hot temperatures along with some rainy days created the perfect combination for blue green algae to develop in Kansas over the summer.
The algae blooms are a statewide issue that can be deadly for pets and livestock.
Dr. Steven Ensley, a clinical veterinary toxicologist at Kansas State University’s Diagnostic Laboratory, said samples were dangerous within just 5 minutes of testing water from Central Park pond in Topeka.
“This water is risky so we don’t want to have animals around it for at least two weeks,” Dr. Ensley said. “It’s not safe to put animals in that water, I mean we’ve had death loss because of these toxins already this year.”
Researchers are still trying to figure out how the blue green algae develops.
“Sometimes the blooms are associated with a rainfall, when we have rainfall event and it washes nitrogen and phosphorus, its waiting for an energy source, and so their growth is explosive, overnight almost, it’ll grow exponentially, “ Dr. Ensley said.
The toxicologists say checking ponds and water in local neighborhoods can help with research, and keep pets safe from the blue green algae.
It’s recommended to use a clear bottle or jar of any kind, put gloves on and get water from a pond with algae and include any of the scum or slime spotted. Bring it to the diagnostic center at K-State and they will take it to start testing.
For a full list of Kansas waters under warnings or watches, click here.