harmful algaeFRANKFORT, Ky. (6/24/18) — With summer upon us and July 4 quickly approaching, the Kentucky Division of Water and the Kentucky Department for Public Health offer these safety tips to help Kentuckians enjoy the many rivers, lakes and creeks in which we boat, fish, swim, canoe or otherwise enjoy our abundant water resources.

Despite many water quality improvements, there is the potential for human health risks in any body of water. By using common sense, your risks of experiencing water-derived health issues can be greatly decreased.

DOW and DPH recommend avoiding areas with Harmful Algal Blooms. Blue-green algae occur naturally in the environment and are a vital part of the ecosystem. HABs arise when there are excess nutrients (phosphorus and nitrogen), sunny conditions, warm temperatures and low-flow or low-water conditions. 

The more typical green algae, which do not produce toxins, come in many forms and may appear as underwater moss or stringy mats. Blue-green algae, on the other hand, appear as slicks of opaque, bright-green paint, but closer inspection often reveals the grainy, sawdust-like appearance of individual colonies or bacteria. The color of the algae may also appear red or brown.

If you are concerned that you have symptoms that are a result of exposure to HABs, please see your doctor and call your local health department.

DOW and DPH recommend that the public follow these guidelines to avoid exposure to HABS:

1.Avoid ingesting or inhaling the water.
2.Thoroughly clean hands and other areas of skin that have come in contact with the water.
3.Don’t allow open wounds to have direct contact with the water.
4.Avoid areas where swimming or harmful algal bloom (HAB) advisories have been issued.
5.Avoid water with obvious odors or surface scums.
6.Avoid getting in water after a heavy rainfall, especially in dense residential, urban and agricultural areas.
7.Avoid areas below wastewater treatment facility outfalls, animal feedlots, straight pipes or other obvious sources of pollution.
8.Restrict pets and livestock from drinking the water if a bright green or blue-green surface scum is present.
9.Avoid direct contact with HAB-infested water, including swimming, wading, fishing, paddling, diving and water skiing, which may result in symptoms.
10.People who are prone to respiratory allergies or asthma should avoid areas with HABs. Children may be particularly sensitive.
11.If contact has been made with water containing blue-green algae, wash off with fresh water. In some cases, skin irritation will appear after prolonged exposure. If symptoms persist, consult your local health care provider.
12.Fish fillets (not organs) may be consumed after the fillets have been rinsed in clean, non-lake water. It is advisable to wash any parts of your body that have come into contact with the fish.
13.More information concerning the quality of Kentucky’s water resources such as advisories or impairments can be found on the Kentucky Water Health

Portal http://watermaps.ky.gov/WaterHealthPortal.


For more information on healthy swimming in all water bodies, visit http://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/swimming/.

SurfKY News

sitelogosm© Copyright 2008 - 2018 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission.

Click here to subscribe to receive daily updates by email.

Most Read This Week...

Jul 16, 2018 17611

UPDATE: Authorities Report Felony Drug Arrest in N. Madisonville

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
Jul 17, 2018 7742

UPDATE: Driver Charged with DUI, Texting after Crash

by Nick Risley
Jul 17, 2018 6483

UPDATE: Ruptured Gas Line Repaired in Cairo

by Nick Risley
Jul 16, 2018 6185

Henderson Man Accused of Striking 3 Pedestrians with Truck

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
Jul 16, 2018 5580

CCPD Charges 2 with Meth Trafficking

by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
Jul 15, 2018 5286

Green Street Collision Results in Injuries

by Nick Risley
Jul 17, 2018 4791

Ohio County Man Named Post 16 KSP Trooper of Year

by SurfKY News
Jul 18, 2018 2670

Duo Charged with Meth Trafficking after Woman Gives Birth at Home

by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
Jul 17, 2018 2051

Ohio County Sheriff's Reports Released - July 17

by Janice Stone

Most Read This Month

Jul 11, 2018 19469

UPDATE: Several Injured in Greenville 3-Vehicle Accident

by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
Jul 17, 2018 17611

UPDATE: Authorities Report Felony Drug Arrest in N. Madisonville

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News

Weather brought to you by

75°
23°
°F | °C
Clear
Humidity: 88%
Fri
Thunderstorms
73 | 89
22 | 31
Sat
Thunderstorms
72 | 86
22 | 30
Sun
Scattered Showers
69 | 81
20 | 27
Mon
Scattered Thunderstorms
69 | 80
20 | 26

Stories Trending Today

Market Report

Market Report brought to you by