No water contact at Lake Afton due to blue-green algae

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Officials say all water contact at Lake Afton is prohibited due to harmful blue-green algae.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment reported algae blooms at Lake Afton Park, requiring a warning for the entire lake. Kate Falvin with Sedgwick County said effective immediately, the lake will be closed for all water contact, which includes swimming and water skiing.

Fishing is permitted, Flavin said, but any fish kept for consumption should be prepared using the guidelines set by KDHE.

The following bodies of water are also under warning:

  • Atchison County Park Lake, Atchison County
  • Carbondale West Lake, Osage County
  • Central Park Lake (Pond), Shawnee County
  • Clarion Woods Park Lake, Shawnee County
  • Jerry Ivey Pond, Saline County
  • Melvern Outlet Pond, Osage County
  • Melvern Outlet Swim Pond, Osage County, Closure – Visitor's can utilize Coeur d' Alene Park Swim Beach which sets on the main body of the lake, located west of the U.S. Army Corps. Of Engineers Project Office. The present algae bloom is isolated to the Outlet Pond and Outlet Swim Pond; Melvern Lake is not affected.
  • Rooks County State Fishing Lake, Rooks County
  • Webster Lake, Rooks County, with Beach Closure

Kansans should be aware that blooms are unpredictable. They can develop rapidly and may float around the lake, requiring visitors to exercise their best judgment. If there is scum, a paint-like surface or the water is bright green, avoid contact and keep pets away. These are indications that a harmful bloom may be present. 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.

When a warning is issued, KDHE recommends the following precautions be taken:

  • Lake water is not safe to drink for pets or livestock.
  • Lake water, regardless of blue-green algae status, should never be consumed by humans.
  • Water contact should be avoided.
  • Fish may be eaten as long as they are rinsed with clean water and only the fillet portion is consumed, while all other parts are discarded.
  • Do not allow pets to eat dried algae.
  • If lake water contacts skin, wash with clean water as soon as possible.
  • Avoid areas of visible algae accumulation.