Reservoir under algae warning
Just in time for a busy holiday weekend, Marion Reservoir has been upgraded from a blue-green algae watch status to a blue-green algae warning.
While camping and boating areas are still open, swimming beaches are closed, and lake visitors are urged to be careful with children and pets near the water.
Direct contact with water is to be avoided.
The reservoir has battled algae blooms since early June, when it was hastily closed after the state health department categorized its blooms to be a hazard because of potentially deadly toxins.
Campers and anglers returned to the reservoir a week later when the status was lowered to a “warning.”
Later, the algae status was lowered to “watch” status, but it returned to a “warning” Thursday.
A warning status indicates conditions are unsafe for human and pet exposure.
Neither people nor animals should drink the water, and fish should be rinsed with clean water and only the fillet portion consumed.
Pets should not be allowed to eat dried algae, skin should be washed if lake water contacts it, and areas of visible algae should be avoided.
Algae blooms look like foam, scum, or paint floating on the water and are colored blue, bright green, brown, or red.
Blooms can develop rapidly. Toxins can be absorbed by ingestion, inhalation of aerosols, and skin contact.
Symptoms vary but can include rash, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, sore throat, and headache. Suspected algae-related health incidents, whether human or animal, should be reported at https://www.kdhe.ks.gov/1163.