A health alert has been lifted at Branched Oak Lake outside Lincoln and while levels for toxic blue-green algae have dropped at three other lakes, health alerts remain in place.
The Department of Health and Human Services says the health alert for Branched Oak was lifted after testing on two consecutive weeks demonstrated levels of blue-green algae dropped below 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.)
Alerts remain in effect at Pawnee Lake in Lancaster County, Iron Horse Trail Lake in Pawnee County, and Willow Creek Lake in Pierce County. The lakes must pass two consecutive weeks of testing for the alert to be lifted, which could come Friday.
Signs have been posted at the affected lakes. Swimming beaches have been closed. Boating and fishing are permitted. The public is advised not to jump into the water or to ingest water at the lakes. Pets also should not be allowed to drink water from the affect lakes.
Camping, picnics, other outdoor activities are allowed.
Samples are taken each week from all 50 public lakes in Nebraska during tourism season.
Sampling results for toxic algae and bacteria are posted on NDEQ’s web site, http://deq.ne.gov/.
(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 attached Fact Sheet.)