protected shoreline at Pawnee Lake near Lincoln,
NE. The water in the photo is like a thick,
pea-soup due to the accumulation of toxic
algae. The photo was taken 9/10/04 - the lake
has a Health Alert status.
algae or blue-green algae has been found in a number
of Nebraska lakes this spring and summer. The poison
produced by algae can cause human and animal health
problems ranging from skin irritation, diarrhea, and
vomiting, to death from liver or respiratory failure.
blooms usually accumulate near the shoreline where pets
and toddlers ave easy access and the water is shallow
and more stagnant.
It is important to keep a watchful eye on children and
pets so that they do not enter the water.
that has a neon green, pea green, blue-green or reddish-brown
that has a bad odor;
scum or a thick mat on the water surface; and/or,
or blue-green streaks on the surface, or accumulations
in bays and along shorelines.
Precautions & facts regarding toxins in lakes. Nebraska
Department of Health and Human Services & the Nebraska
Department of Environmental Quality.
You are encouraged to read the entire fact sheet to
learn more about health risks, symptoms, find a list
of lakes in Nebraska with Health Alerts/Advisories,
and learn about boating/fishing recommendations HERE
Test Kits Available:
of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension's water quality program
has developed a volunteer monitoring program to check
Nebraska lakes for blue-green algae. Free test kits
are available so lake owners, users and managers can
check their lake for potential toxin-producing algae.
contain instructions on proper sample collection, a
sheet for recording measurements, a questionnaire about
the lake and sample bottles for water and algae. Samples
are returned for processing and those who submit samples
are notified of results.
more information or a test kit, call Tadd Barrow at
(402) 472-7783. For more information on Water Quality and Toxic Algae visit http://water.unl.edu