Melvern, Kan.— The U.S Army Corps of Engineers announce the existence of a blue-green algae bloom at the Outlet Campground River Pond downstream of Melvern Lake. Blue-green algae identification tests and toxin tests have confirmed the presence of the algae. The most recent tests showed low levels of the toxin microcystin but levels can increase or decrease on a daily basis. Hot and sunny weather conditions combined with high nutrient levels create ideal conditions for harmful algae bloom growth. Swimming is not allowed in the outlet pond and all wading and contact with algae is highly discouraged.
Blue-green algae blooms are unpredictable. They can develop rapidly and may float or drift 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 all water contact and keep pets away.
When a Warning is issued, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment 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
Pet owners need to be particularly mindful of the presence of blue-green algae. Dogs are highly susceptible to algae toxins and frequently ingest concentrated toxins from shoreline areas. Pets that swim in or drink water affected by a harmful algal bloom, or that eat dried algae along the shore may become seriously ill.
The present algae bloom is isolated to the Outlet Campground River Pond below Melvern Lake Dam. Boat ramps and lake activities are not affected. Marinas, lakeside businesses and park camping facilities are open for business. Drinking water and showers at parks are safe and not affected by algae blooms.
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 Melvern Lake at (785) 549-3318.
Release no. 16-030