A health alert remains in effect at Harlan County Reservoir after high levels of toxic blue-green algae were detected earlier.
Tests run by state officials found algae levels at Harlan County Reservoir had dropped considerably, but it must pass two consecutive weeks of tests for the health alert to be lifted.
A health alert at Swan Creek Lake #5A (also known as Willard Meyer Recreational Area) in Saline County has been lifted after the lake passed two consecutive weeks of tests.
Samples taken last week from the Harlan County Reservoir indicated levels of total microcystin (a toxin released by certain strains of blue-green algae) exceed the state health alert threshold of 20 parts per billion. The level taken this week saw a significant drop to very low levels of 0.30 ppb.
The alert could be lifted before the Independence Day holiday weekend.
Signs have been posted to warn the public at Harlan County. Swimming beaches have been closed.
Recreational boating as well as fishing are permitted. The state advises to avoid full immersion in the water during the alert. Public areas for camping, picnics, and other outdoor activities remain open.
The state takes samples from 50 public lakes weekly throughout the summer vacation season.
Sampling results for toxic algae and bacteria will be updated every Friday. Click here for results at the 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 this Fact Sheet.)
An earlier version of this story used incorrect figures. Those figures have been corrected. We regret the error – ed.