Kansas health officials warn of dangerous blue-green algae

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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP/KAKE) -

Kansas health officials are warning the public about toxic levels of blue-green algae in more than a dozen lakes.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment said Friday that direct water contact through activities such as swimming is strongly discouraged for people and animals in 13 lakes.

The lakes currently under a warning are Atchison County Park Lake, Hodgeman County State Fishing Lake, the Slough Creek arm of Perry Lake, the Marais Des Cygnes Wildlife Area Lake, the Carbondale West Lake, the Melvern Outlet Pond and Swim Pond, Webster Lake, Frazier Lake, Rooks County State Fishing Lake, South Park Lake, Lake Wabaunsee and Lake Afton.

A less serious watch also was issued for Overbrook City Lake, Shawnee County's Rock Garden Pond and Central Park Lake and Douglas County's Mary's Lake.

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.