Blue Green Algae & High E. Coli Alert

Blue Green Algae Health Alerts Issued for Bluestem lake, Pawnee Lake, Swan Creek Lake(5A),  and Willow Creek Reservoir

  High E. Coli found in Maple Creek Recreation Area Lake

The state has issued health alerts for toxic blue-green algae at Bluestem Lake & Pawnee Lake, both in Lancaster County, Swan Creek Lake(5A) in Saline County, and Willow Creek Reservoir in Pierce County. Maple Creek Recreation Area Lake in Colfax County was found to have above normal E. coli levels.

The public is advised that swimming and activities which could cause accidental ingestion of water are not permitted when a health alert for toxic blue-green algae is posted.  The designated swimming beaches are closed. While recreational boating and fishing are permitted, the public should avoid activities that could cause accidental ingestion of water as well as full immersion in water.  The risks to humans come from external exposure (prolonged contact with skin) and from swallowing the water.  Symptoms from external exposure are skin rashes, lesions, and blisters.  Symptoms from ingestion can include headaches, nausea, muscular pains, central abdominal pain, diarrhea and vomiting.

High E. coli levels in a lake may be indicative of sewage contamination. However, affected lakes are  not posted for no swimming because it has not been declared unsafe.  Rather, this notice is issued so the public is aware that the higher E. coli levels may increase the risk of illness when swimming in the affected water.

If you experience health symptoms, notify your physician. You can also contact the Nebraska Regional Poison Center at 800-222-1222 for more information. Testing results for all lakes can be found on the NDEQ website at http://deq.ne.gov