Nitrate Violation Alert!

NOTICE OF NITRATE VIOLATION FOR STEELE CITY WATER

A Nitrate Violation Notice has been issued for users of the Village of Steele City, Nebraska Public Water Supply System. Nitrate was measured at 14 milligrams per liter on a sample collected on August 10, 2017. Parents are advised that Infants who are six months or younger, nursing mothers, and pregnant women should not consume Steele City water until further notice. In accord with State protocol, the Village of Steele City will offer an alternate source of water for infants who are six months or younger, nursing mothers, and pregnant women until the nitrates on the public water system are reduced below 10 mg/1.

Children who drink water with high nitrates can become seriously ill and die if their sickness goes untreated. Shortness of breath and blue baby syndrome are symptoms of drinking water with high nitrate levels.  Pregnant woman who drink the high nitrate tap water are told to consult with a doctor.

Water, juice and formula for children under six months should not be prepared with Steele City Tap water while this notice is in effect. Do not boil, freeze or let water stand in an effort to reduce nitrates. These actions will further concentrate nitrate levels.

Non-pregnant adults and children older than 6 months may drink Steele City tap water. Nitrate in drinking water can come from natural, industrial, and/or agricultural sources so the levels can vary throughout the year.

Contact the Village of Steele City for information regarding the status of the water system and the availability of alternate water sources.

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

Blue Green Algae & High E. Coli Alerts

Blue Green Algae Health Alerts Issued for Swan Creek Lake, Pawnee Lake

High E. Coli Found in Holmes Lake, Pawnee Lake, Fremont Lake No. 10, Maple Creek Recreation Area Lake

The state has issued health alerts for toxic blue-green algae at Swan Creek Lake in Saline County and Pawnee Lake in Lancaster County. Holmes Lake and Pawnee Lake (both in Lancaster County), Fremont Lake No 10 (Dodge County), and Maple Creek Recreation Area (Colfax County) were 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.

District Farmers’ Markets are Open for the Season!

Farmers markets are underway in your area!  Buying local gives you freedom of choice for your family’s health and nutrition while supporting family farms and strengthening the local economy.  Shopping at a farmers’ market is a unique experience where you can meet your neighbors, friends, and farmers.  Check out the 2017 Guide to Local Foods brought to you by the Farmers Market Coalition of Southeast Nebraska for Fillmore, Gage, Jefferson, Saline and Thayer counties in Nebraska!  This guide contains information including the locations of local farmers’ markets to purchase fresh, healthy produce, to resources available to you such as recipes and nutrition.  See you at the farmers’ market!

Prescription for a Healthier You!

Want to learn more about living a healthier lifestyle? Public Health Solutions is teaming up with several community partners to help provide FREE sessions focused on getting healthy. See the schedule below:

 

Suicide PreventionTraining Available to the Public!

Community stakeholders will be certified and trained as QPR (Question. Persuade. Refer) gatekeepers. The 90-minute QPR Gatekeeper Training for Suicide Prevention program teaches people how to recognize suicide-warning signs, ask about suicide, and persuade people to accept professional help. As a universal intervention for troubled youth and others, QPR has been taught to more than two million people worldwide. Below are the free QPR (Gatekeepers) Suicide Prevention Training details.

Target Audience: Middle and High School Students and Adults working in those settings.

Where: Beatrice Public Library, 100 N. 16th Street, Beatrice

Why: To help prevent suicide

Time: 6:30pm to 8:00pm

Date: Wednesday, August 9th, 2017

 

This event is sponsored by: Beatrice Public Library, Public health Solutions District Health Department, and Region V Systems.

Funding supported by: SAMSHA Grant # 1U79SMO61741-01, NE DHHS/Division of Behavioral Health, and Region V Systems

Beware of Telephone Scam Using Health Department Phone Number

Public Health Solutions (PHS) has been made aware of a telephone scam which involves the misuse of a local PHS phone number. When looking at their caller ID, residents are misled to believe that a call is coming from our office and then hear an automated message about a trip or prize of some kind.  We know that this is a national telephone scam and similar to one that has hit other governmental offices in the area (most recently the Mayor’s office in Lincoln, NE).

PHS reminds you that we will not call and try to sell you a product or claim that you have won a prize. Our staff will always identify themselves before discussing private information. If you are in doubt that a phone call is legitimate, please hang up.  You can confirm the call or a staff member’s credentials by calling our office at 402-826-3880.  Our staff is listed on the PHS website as well: www.phsneb.org.

We ask the community’s help in educating family members, friends, and neighbors, on how to avoid this telephone scam.  By working together, we can help protect our most vulnerable community members from falling victim to this type of criminal activity.

For more information, call Public Health Solutions at 402-826-3880 or toll free at 1-844-830-0813.

Health Alert Issued for Swan Creek Lake & Kirkman’s Cove Lake Health Alerts Continue for Iron Horse Trail Lake, Rockford Lake

7/7/2017

The state has issued health alerts for harmful algal blooms, also known as toxic blue-green algae, at Swan Creek Lake in Saline County, Rockford Lake State Recreation Area in Gage County, Iron Horse Trail Lake in Pawnee County and Kirkman’s Cove Lake in Richardson County. Weekly sampling has been conducted at 50 public lakes since the beginning of May.

Samples taken earlier this week at these lakes were above 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.)  The alerts will continue at the lakes for at least two more weeks, because lakes that are 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.

Non-contact recreational activities such as 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, deq.ne.gov.

If you experience health symptoms, notify your physician. You can also contact the Nebraska Regional Poison Center at 800-222-1222 for more information.

Free Fans Available!

It’s that time of the year again! As the temperature rises, PHS will be distributing free box fans provided by DHHS to anyone in our five counties. The fans are completely FREE! PHS will be distributing these at our Crete and Beatrice locations. Clients simply have to fill out the form located at each distribution site. Everyone is eligible to receive a fan, but fans are limited to one per household.

For Energy Assistance (also known as LIHEAP), apply to DHHS EA for assistance at 1-800-383-4278, with a paper application, apply online, or make an appointment with a PHS staff member for application assistance.

For weatherization information or assistance, please contact Blue Valley Community Action at 402-729-2278.

Help PHS Monitor West Nile Virus

Public Health Solutions is now accepting reports of dead birds. We are interested in the corvid species, which includes crows and bluejays (see pictures below). In partnership with DHHS, local health departments begin surveillance of the bird population on June 1st, as part of a comprehensive West Nile virus program. Mosquitoes acquire the virus from infected birds and pass it on to other birds, animals and people. Humans CANNOT acquire West Nile virus directly from birds. If you see a dead corvid species bird that appears freshly dead (body intact, no insect infestation or sunken eyes), please call us immediately. If we determine that the bird is suitable for testing, we will give you further instructions and come out to pick up the bird. To report a dead bird, call Public Health Solutions at 402-826-3880 or toll free at 1-844-830-0813.

Examples of corvids: