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Public health warning for Milford Lake

Published July 1, 2016
Blue Green Algae notice

Blue Green Algae notice

Junction City, Kan.— Milford Lake is under a lake-wide warning based on cyanobacteria/toxin results from June 27 conducted by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.  

Blue-green algae are actually types of bacteria known as Cyanobacteria. When certain conditions are present, such as high nutrient and light levels, these toxic producing organisms can reproduce rapidly producing a harmful algae bloom.  KDHE, in cooperation with the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism and other lake managers where appropriate, respond by informing the public of these conditions. Based upon sampling results and established health risk levels, the warning for all three zones of Milford Lake are in effect.

KDWPT reminds visitors that when a lake is under a warning, marinas, lakeside businesses and park camping facilities remain open for business, although swim beaches will be closed. Park drinking water and showers are safe and not affected by the algae bloom. Also, it is safe to eat fish caught during a harmful blue-green algae outbreak, as long as consumers clean and rinse the fish with clean, potable water, consume only the fillet portion and discard all other parts. Hands should also be washed with clean, potable water after handling fish taken from an affected lake.

Public Health warning indicates that blue-green algae is present in high numbers and people and pets may get sick. Water activities like boating and fishing may be safe; however direct contact activities including water skiing, jet skiing, wading and swimming are strongly discouraged.  Pets and livestock should be kept away from water.  

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

  • Avoid areas of visible algae accumulation

  • Clean fish and rinse with clean water, consume only the fillet portion, discarding other parts

  • Humans, pets and livestock do not drink or contact untreated lake water

  • Do not eat or allow pets to eat dried algae

  • If lake water comes in contact with skin or pet fur, wash with clean water as soon as possible

KDHE will continue to monitor these public waters and will update the status as conditions warrant. For more information contact the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Milford Lake at (785) 238-5714.

 

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Release no. 16-028