A health alert has ended for the Harlan County Reservoir, but new health alerts have been issued for toxic blue-green algae at Iron Horse Trail Lake in Pawnee County and Kirkman’s Cove in Richardson County.
State officials ended the health alert of Harlan County Reservoir after it cleared two consecutive weeks of testing. Any lake placed on health alert must pass two consecutive weeks of testing to have the alert lifted.
Meanwhile, samples taken earlier this week at Iron Horse Lake and Kirkman’s Cove registered higher that the state health alert threshold of 20 parts per billion (ppb) of total microcystin (a toxin released by certain strains of blue-green algae.)
Signs have been posted to warn the public at both lakes. 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.)