Health alerts have been issued for Kirkman’s Cove in Richardson County and Swan Creek Lake 5A in Saline County. Alerts continue at Rockford Lake in Gage County, and Iron Horse Trail Lake in Pawnee County. An alert has been lifted for Pawnee Lake in Lancaster County.
Water samples taken from Kirkman’s Cove and Swan Creek Lake had levels of toxic blue-green algae, also known as algal blooms, higher than the state health alert threshold of 20 parts per billion (ppb) of total microcystin (a toxin released by certain strains of blue-green algae.)
The alerts will remain in effect for the two lakes for at least two more weeks. The state will not lift an alert until blue-green algae levels drop below the threshold for two consecutive weeks. Levels at Rockford Lake and Iron Horse Trail Lake have dropped below the threshold. One more week below the threshold and the alert will be lifted.
The alert ended at Pawnee Lake, because it had two consecutive weeks of low readings.
Swimming beaches are closed during an alert. Boating and fishing are allowed. The public is advised not to get into the water or digest any lake water. Don’t let pets get in the water or drink from a lake under a health alert. Public areas remain open and camping, picnics, and other outdoor activities are allowed.
Weekly sampling will continue through the recreational season at all 50 public lakes in Nebraska.
Sampling results for harmful algal blooms and bacteria will be updated every Friday and posted on NDEQ’s web site, deq.ne.gov.
(For more information about potential health effects of harmful algal blooms, what to look for, and steps to avoid exposure, please refer to the Fact Sheet. To view the weekly data for the lakes sampled, go to http://deq.ne.gov/NDEQProg.nsf/Beaches2017.xsp.