Despite the many false reports, Lake Meade State Park is open for business. The only thing that has been shut down, due to the recent blue green algae bloom, is swimming and wading in the lake. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) recommends no full body contact with lake water. This following statement is from the KDHE website:
Some blue-green algae produce toxins that could pose a health risk to people and animals when they are exposed to them in large enough quantities, yet the mere presence of blue-green algae is not a cause for alarm. Health effects could occur when surface scums or water containing high levels of blue-green algal toxins are swallowed, through contact with the skin or when airborne droplets containing toxins are inhaled while swimming, boating, and skiing. A large percentage of the public will report “allergic” type reactions after exposure to blue-green algae, such as intestinal problems, respiratory problems, or skin irritations.
Faucet water in the state park is treated and safe to drink, and there are many activities available, including camping, fishing (clean the fish well, eat only the fillet and discard the rest), hiking, and boating. In fact, the park will be hosting a Car and Bike Show on July 17, 2011. The park is currently included in a countywide burn ban. For cooking purposes, a propane grill with a lid is being allowed. On red flag days, there will be no types of fires allowed.
KDHE will continue to monitor the situation and rescind this warning as soon as conditions warrant. For more information on any lake advisories, KDHE can be contacted during normal business hours at 866-865-3233. For information about the Lake Meade State Park, call the office at 620-873-2572.
More information on algae and algae blooms can be found at KDHE’s website, www.kdheks.gov/algae-illness/index.htm.