No New Health Alerts Issued this Week; Alert Ends at Swan Creek #5A
There were no new health alerts issued for toxic blue-green algae this week, and a health alert has ended at Swan Creek Lake #5A, after it tested low for two consecutive weeks. Although readings were low at Harlan County Reservoir in Harlan County, the alert continues to be in effect at least until July 1, because lakes that are on alert must have two consecutive readings below the threshold before an alert is discontinued.
Alerts are issued when a lake’s weekly samples are 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.) Harlan County Reservoir tested high on June 17, but this week’s reading was very low, at 0.30 ppb.
When a health alert is issued, signs are posted to advise the public to use caution, and designated swimming beaches are closed during the alert. Recreational boating and fishing are permitted, but the public is advised to avoid activities that could involve accidental ingestion of water and to avoid full immersion in water. People can still use the public areas for camping, picnics and other outdoor activities.
Weekly sampling has been conducted at 50 public lakes in Nebraska since the beginning of May. The lakes will continue to be monitored weekly throughout the 2016 recreational season. Sampling results for toxic algae and bacteria will be updated every Friday and 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.)