|On May 1, the state began its weekly monitoring of harmful algal blooms (also known as toxic blue-green algae) and bacteria at 50 public recreational lakes in Nebraska. Sampling will continue weekly through September.
To date, there have not been any health alerts issued for harmful algal blooms, because no lakes exceeded the state’s health alert threshold of 20 parts per billion (ppb) of total microcystin (a toxin released by certain strains of blue-green algae.) Lakes that are placed on health alert must have two consecutive weeks of readings below the threshold before the alert is discontinued.
When a health alert is issued, signs are posted to advise the public to use caution, and designated swimming beaches are closed during the alert. Recreational boating and fishing are permitted, but the public is advised to use caution and avoid exposure to the water, particularly avoiding any activity that could lead to swallowing the water. Do not let pets get in the water or drink from the lake. People can still use the public areas for camping, picnics and other outdoor activities.
The lakes will continue to be monitored weekly throughout the 2017 recreational season. Sampling results for harmful algal blooms and bacteria will be updated every Friday and posted on NDEQ’s web site, http://deq.ne.gov.
(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. To view the weekly data for the lakes sampled, go to http://deq.ne.gov/NDEQProg.nsf/Beaches2017.xsp. )