Health Alert Ends at Pawnee; Alerts Continue at Bluestem, Willow Creek Reservoir and Swan Creek Lake 5A

High E. coli levels found at Fremont Lake #10, Maple Creek Recreation Area, Pawnee Lake, and Wirth Brothers Lake

There were no new health alerts this week for harmful algal blooms, and a health alert has ended at Pawnee Lake in Lancaster County.  Alerts continue at Bluestem Lake in Lancaster County, Willow Creek Reservoir in Pierce County and Swan Creek Lake 5A in Saline County. The following lakes were found to have high E. coli levels: Fremont Lake # 10 in Dodge County, Maple Creek Recreation Area in Colfax County, Pawnee Lake in Lancaster County, and Wirth Brothers Lake in Johnson County.

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.



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