The Kansas Department of Health and Environment, in conjunction with the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, has issued its list of public health advisories for Kansas lakes due to blue-green algae. Among them is Cheney Lake, which partially sits in Sedgwick County. When a warning is issued, state officials recommend precautions be taken. They say lake water is not safe to drink for pets or livestock, and regardless of blue-green algae status, lake water should never be consumed by humans. Water contact should be avoided. Fish may be eaten if they are rinsed with clean water and only the fillet portion is consumed, while all other parts are discarded. Do not allow pets to eat dried algae. If lake water contacts skin, wash with clean water as soon as possible. Avoid areas of visible algae accumulation.
A watch means that blue-green algae have been detected and a harmful algal bloom is present or likely to develop. People are encouraged to avoid areas of algae accumulation and keep pets and livestock away from the water. Algae blooms are unpredictable. They can develop rapidly and may float around the lake, requiring anyone around those bodies of water to exercise their best judgment. For information on blue-green algae and reporting potential harmful algal blooms, visit