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Reservoir reopens with warning

Staff writer

After a week’s closure because of blue-green algae, Marion Reservoir reopened for the weekend.

Because the algae has only lessened, not cleared up, a warning remains in effect until at least Thursday, when new test results will be announced.

Some campgrounds at the reservoir still are closed because of flooding.

Marion County Lake, previously under an algae watch, is no longer under one.

Lake director Isaac Hett said state officials tested lake water Monday. Results of the new tests will be released Thursday.

Hett told county commissioners Monday the water looked good.

The reservoir was hastily closed June 3 after the state health department categorized blue-green algae blooms to be a hazard because of potentially deadly toxins in the water.

Campers and anglers returned to the reservoir Thursday evening, lake manager Brock DeLong said.

“Everything other than swim beaches will be allowed for public use,” he said.

DeLong said 76 out of 216 camping areas were closed at Cottonwood Point and Hillsboro Cove.

He asked lake visitors to pay attention to current conditions and talk to rangers if they saw something out of the ordinary.

He also urged visitors to limit direct contact with water.

“That’s one of the reasons we close the swim beaches,” DeLong said.

A “warning” status indicates conditions are unsafe for human and pet exposure.

Contact with the water should be avoided. This means neither people nor animals should drink the water, and fish should be rinsed with clean water and only the fillet portion is 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. The blooms can develop rapidly.

Toxins can be absorbed by ingestion, inhalation of aerosols, and skin contact.  Symptoms vary depending upon the type of exposure 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.

Last modified June 15, 2022

 

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