A health alert has been issued for Pawnee Lake in Lancaster County. An alert continues at Swan Creek Lake 5A in Saline County.
Water samples taken from both lakes earlier this week register levels 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.)
The alerts will remain in effect for at least two more weeks at both lakes. Lakes must pass two consecutive weeks of tests before a health alert is lifted.
An alert issued earlier for Kirkman’s Cove has been lifted.
Swimming beaches have been closed at both Pawnee and Swan Creek. Recreational boating and fishing are permitted, but state health officials caution against exposure to the water, especially any activity in which water can be ingested. Pets should not be allowed to get into the lakes.
Camping and picnic areas remain open.
Weekly sampling of lake water has been conducted at 50 public lakes since the beginning of May. They will be monitored weekly throughout the recreational season. 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 attached Fact Sheet. To view the weekly data for the lakes sampled, go to http://deq.ne.gov/NDEQProg.nsf/Beaches2017.xsp.)