The KDHE noted lakes under a warning are not closed and the agency routinely samples accessible bodies of water for blue-green algae based on reports. Findings of the testing, and a list of any bodies under watch or warning, can be found at www.kdheks.gov. Miller noted it is also made very clear on site.
“Any body of water that has these warnings, blue-green algae warnings or even watches, they should have signs everywhere stipulating what the restrictions are,” Miller said.
Contact with high concentrations of the cyanobacteria can cause illness. Symptoms for both humans and animals are listed at the KDHE website and Miller noted anyone showing symptoms of blue-green algae exposure should seek medical attention immediately.
Summer temperatures (as well as the increased traffic) add to the threat of blue-green algae blooms, though Miller noted location can play a role in the problem, too.
Depth, clarity of the water, and the amount of nitrogen (i.e. from runoff) can all factor in to the presence of blue-green algae. With East Lake being located around farm land, Miller did say that puts it at higher risk.
Presence of blue-green algae can impair boating and swimming at recreational bodies of water, but as Miller noted the Harvey County lakes are good to go for the upcoming three-day weekend. The organic threat may not be present, but he still advised people to be aware of lake and campground regulations like checking for designated ski routes (which East Lake has), noting noise ordinances, driver requirements, etc. A list of all regulations can be found at www.ksoutdoors.com and Miller noted those needing a refresher can also stop by the Harvey County Parks offices or ask a ranger.
There is plenty to enjoy at the Harvey County parks, like the albino catfish contest that is still ongoing, and knowing the rules and regulations makes sure everyone can have a good time.
“Come out, have fun, bring the whole family,” Miller said. “Just be safe and courteous of everybody else.”