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Public, pets should avoid exposure to some lakes in NE due to toxic algae

Home-Backyard Water Gear
Posted at 1:05 PM, Jul 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-02 14:05:00-04

LINCOLN, Neb. (KMTV) — The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has issued a health alert on toxic blue-green algae found in Bluestem Lake, Johnson Lake and Kirkman's Cove Lake.

Bluestem Lake is located in Lancaster County, Johnson Lake is in Dawson and Gosper counties and Kirkman's Cove Lake is in Richardson County.

DHHS urges that the public — and their pets — avoid exposure to the water.

According to a press release, samples taken earlier this week at the lakes show above the health alert threshold of 8 parts per billion of the toxin released by certain strains of blue-green algae.

Based on recommendations put in place in 2019 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the state of Nebraska adopted this limit to protect the public.

Signs are posted in the area advising the public to use caution. Designated swimming beaches are closed during health alerts.

Recreational boating and fishing are allowed but the public should still avoid contact with the water.

Pets shouldn't get in the water or drink from the lake.

People can still use the public areas for camping, picnics and other outdoor activities.

Weekly sampling has been done at 53 public lakes since the first week of May and will continue to be monitored weekly through the end of September.

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