Blue-green algae bloom still toxic
MANKATO — The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) is continuing to advise the public to avoid contact with water in Lovewell Reservoir in Jewell County.

On July 16, KDHE issued a public health advisory after confirming a toxic blue-green algae bloom in the reservoir. Concentrations of algae in the reservoir exceed the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended level of 100,000 cells/ml for recreational water use. Elevated levels of toxins from the algae were also confirmed.

KDHE sampled the reservoir earlier this week. Sample results continue to exceed the recommended levels. Reservoir samples will be taken again next week and KDHE may revise or lift the public health advisory based on future test results. At the present time, the public health advisory does remain in effect. The Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) has announced the reservoir will remain closed until further notice. However, Lovewell State Park is open.

KDHE continues to recommend the following precautions be taken at Lovewell Reservoir:

  • avoid ingesting reservoir water;
  • avoid swimming or wading in reservoir water;
  • avoid consuming any fish or shellfish from the reservoir until further notice because fish and shellfish may absorb toxins from the bloom; and
  • keep pets from having contact with the water.

Contact with the water, such as wading or swimming, can cause a skin rash, as well as eye, ear and throat irritation. Ingestion or inhaling aerosols (such as from personal watercraft or boating) of contaminated water can cause diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, fever, fatigue and flu-like symptoms. If you develop similar symptoms after contact with the reservoir water, seek medical care from your healthcare provider.

Animals, especially dogs, can also become ill as a result of coming into contact with, or ingesting the water. If your pet becomes ill soon after contact with the water, contact your veterinarian right away.

KDHE and KDWP will continue to monitor the situation and rescind this advisory as soon as conditions warrant. If the public has any questions or concerns, KDHE can be contacted during normal business hours at 785-296-6603.

Further information on algae and algae blooms can be found at: