Big Eleven Lake under algae watch

Big Eleven Lake at 11th and State in Kansas City, Kansas, is now under a watch for algae, according to a public health advisory from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

The lake was downgraded from a warning to a watch on Sept. 12 after several weeks on the algae warning list.

According to the KDHE, a watch means that blue-green algae has been detected and a harmful algal bloom is present or likely to develop. People are asked to avoid areas of algae accumulation and keep pets and livestock away from the water.

During the watch, KDHE recommends these precautions be taken:

• Signage will be posted at all public access locations
• Water may be unsafe for humans/animals
• Avoid areas of algae accumulation and do not let people/pets eat dried algae or drink contaminated water.
• Swimming, wading, skiing, and jet skiing are discouraged near visible blooms
• Boating and fishing are safe. However, inhalation of the spray may affect some individuals. Avoid direct contact with water, and wash with clean water after any contact.
• Clean fish well with potable water and eat fillet portion only.

KDHE samples publicly accessible bodies of water for blue-green algae when the agency receives reports of potential algae blooms in Kansas lakes, according to a spokesman. Based on sampling results, KDHE reports on potentially harmful conditions.

Kansans should be aware that blooms are unpredictable, the spokesman stated. They can develop rapidly and may float around the lake, requiring visitors to exercise their best judgment. If there is scum, a paint-like surface or the water is bright green, avoid contact and keep pets away. These are indications that a harmful bloom may be present.

Pet owners should be aware that animals that swim in or drink water affected by a harmful algal bloom or eat dried algae along the shore may become seriously ill or die.

For information on blue-green algae and reporting potential harmful algal blooms, visit

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