Another health alert has been issued for another Nebraska lake as one health alert continues and one is lifted.
State officials have issued a health alert for toxic blue-green algae for Swan Creek Lake 5A in Saline County.
An alert issued earlier for Willow Creek Lake in Pierce County continues.
Samples taken earlier this week indicated Swan Creek Lake was 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), according to a news release issued jointly by the Department of Health and Human Services – Division of Public Health, the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality, the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, and the UNL Water Quality Extension Program.
The alert will be active for at least two weeks. A lake must record two consecutive readings below the threshold before an alert is lifted. Readings are taken each week.
An alert issued for Rockford Lake in Gage County July 11th has been lifted, after it recorded two consecutive weeks of total microcystin readings below the threshold.
Swimming is banned during an alert. Though recreational boating and fishing are permitted, the state advises anyone using lakes under alerts to avoid accidentally ingesting the water or jumping into the water. Camping, picnics, and other outdoor activities are permitted.
State workers monitor all Nebraska lakes weekly during the vacation season. Sampling results can be found on the 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 Fact Sheet by clicking here.)