November 27, 2015

Health alerts issued for two lakes, continues for a third

Health alerts have been issued for two lakes by state officials, while one continues for a third.

Officials report Iron Horse Lake in Pawnee County and Willow Creek Lake 5A in Pierce County are under health alerts for toxic blue-green algae. An alert continues for Swan Creek Lake 5A in Saline County.

According to the state, water samples taken from the lakes indicated the three lakes were above the state’s health alert threshold of 20 parts per billion (ppb) of total microcystin (a toxin released by certain strains of blue-green algae.)

The health alerts for all three weeks will last at least another two weeks. State law requires lakes to pass two consecutive weeks of tests before alerts can be lifted.

While recreational boating and fishing are permitted in lakes under health alerts, the public is discouraged from ingesting any lake water or getting in the water. Swimming beaches have been closed at the three lakes. Camping and picnic areas remain open.

State officials monitor the lakes throughout the recreational season. Sampling results for toxic algae and bacteria will be updated every Friday and posted on NDEQ’s web site,

(For more information about potential health effects of toxic blue-green algae, what to look for, and steps to avoid exposure, please refer to the Fact Sheet by clicking here.)

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