Newsroom > DHHS News Release
Issued jointly from the
Department of Health and Human Services – Division of Public Health
Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality
Nebraska Game and Parks Commission
UN-L Water Quality Extension Program
August 12, 2011
Brian McManus, Department of Environmental Quality, (402) 471-4223
Marla Augustine, DHHS Communications and Legislative Services, (402) 471-4047
Dave Tunink, Game and Parks Commission, (402) 471-5553
No State Lakes on Alert for Toxic Blue-Green Algae
The state has discontinued health alerts for toxic blue-green algae at Lone Star Lake in Fillmore County, Rockford Lake in Gage County, Maskenthine Lake in Stanton County, and Willow Creek Lake in Pierce County, after the lakes had two consecutive weeks of low readings for toxic blue-green algae. This week, there are no health alerts in effect at any of the 46 public lakes that are tested weekly by the state.
Health alerts are issued if readings exceed the state’s health alert threshold of 20 parts per billion (ppb) of total Microcystins (a toxin released by certain strains of blue-green algae.) Lakes that are on health alert must have two consecutive weeks of readings below the threshold before the alert is discontinued.
When a lake is on alert, the public is advised to use caution, and the lake’s swimming beach is closed. Recreational boating and fishing are permitted, but the public is advised to avoid activities that could involve accidental ingestion of water. People can still use the public areas for camping, picnics and other outdoor activities.
The state will continue to conduct weekly sampling at 46 recreational lakes throughout the 2011 recreational season. Sampling results for toxic algae and bacteria will be updated every Friday and posted on NDEQ’s web site, www.deq.state.ne.us.
(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.)