Lake Pomona under blue-green algae warning; contact with water should be avoided – Osage County Online

POMONA LAKE, Kan. – Lake Pomona has been put on high alert due to the presence of blue-green algae, and two other Osage County lakes remain under watch today.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks have issued several public health advisories for Kansas lakes due to blue-green algae. Melvern Lake and Carbondale City Lake are on KDHE’s watch list.

A harmful algal bloom can look like foam, scum, or paint floating in the water and be colored blue, bright green, brown, or red. Flowers can develop quickly; if the water looks suspicious or there is rotting seaweed on the shore, avoid contact and keep dogs away. These toxins can be absorbed by ingestion, inhalation of aerosols and even by contact with the skin. Symptoms vary by type of exposure, such as direct contact, ingestion, or inhalation, but may include rash, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, sore throat, and headache . If people or dogs come into contact with algae, rinse the area with clean, cool water. Suspected health incidents related to algal blooms, whether human or animal, regardless of season, should be reported to KDHE at

A warning status indicates that the conditions are unsafe for human and pet exposure. Contact with the body of water should be avoided. When a warning is issued, KDHE recommends taking the following precautions:

  • The lake water is not potable for pets or livestock.
  • Lake water, regardless of blue-green algae status, should never be consumed by humans.
  • Contact with water should be avoided.
  • The fish can be eaten if it is rinsed with clean water and only the fillet portion is eaten, while all other parts are discarded.
  • Don’t let pets eat dried seaweed.
  • If lake water comes into contact with skin, wash with clean water as soon as possible.
  • Avoid areas of visible algae buildup.

A watch status means that blue-green algae have been detected and a harmful algal bloom is present or likely to develop. People are encouraged to avoid areas of algae buildup and to keep pets and livestock away from the water.

During the standby state, KDHE recommends taking the following precautions:

  • Signs will be posted in all places of public access.
  • The water can be dangerous to humans or animals.
  • Avoid areas of algae buildup and do not allow people or pets to eat dried algae or drink contaminated water.
  • Swimming, wading, skiing and jet skiing are not recommended near visible flowers.
  • Boating and fishing are safe. However, inhaling the spray may affect some people. Avoid direct contact with water and wash with clean water after any contact.
  • Clean the fish well with clean water and eat only the fillet portion.

KDHE investigates publicly accessible bodies of water for blue-green algae when the agency receives reports of potential algae blooms in Kansas lakes. Based on credible field observations and sampling results, KDHE reports potentially hazardous conditions.

Anyone observing a scum or paint-like surface on the water, small blue-green tufts or filaments floating in the water, or if the water is an opaque green, should avoid contact and keep pets. These are indications that a harmful bloom may be present. Pet owners should be aware that pets that swim or drink water affected by a harmful algal bloom or eat dried algae along the shoreline can become seriously ill or die.

For more information on blue-green algae and reporting potentially harmful algal blooms, see

Active advisories include Milford Lake Zone C, Geary and Clay County, as the only lake in Kansas currently at risk. A danger status indicates that a harmful algal bloom is present and extreme conditions exist.

The lakes under current warning status, including Lake Pomona, which was raised to that status today, July 8, are Colwich City Lake, Sedgwick County, Crystal Lake, Anderson, Ford County Lake, Ford County, Garnett Lake (north), Anderson County, Gathering Pond, Geary County, Jerry Ivey Pond, Saline County, Lake Scott State Park, Scott County, Marion Reservoir, Marion County , Milford Lake Zone A, Norton Lake, Norton County (raised July 8), Parsons Lake, Neosho County, Riggs Park Lake, Sedgwick County.

Lakes under watch include Carbondale City Lake (Strowbridge), Osage County, Shawnee Lake, Shawnee County, Lake Melvern, Osage County, Milford Lake Area B, Geary County.

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