Health alert issued for Swanson Reservoir

Toxic blue-green algae
Toxic blue-green algae(N.C. Department of Health and Human Services)
Published: Aug. 4, 2023 at 12:15 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - A health alert has been issued for toxic blue-green algae at at Swanson Reservoir in Hitchcock County Friday.

This week, the state of Nebraska issued a health alert for the Swanson Reservoir after samples taken earlier this week measured above the threshold of 8 parts per billion (ppb) of total microcystin, which is a toxin released by certain strains of blue-green algae.

When a health alert is issued, signs will be posted around the area to advise the public to use caution, and designated swimming beaches are closed during the alert.

Recreational 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. People can still use the public areas for camping, picnics, and other outdoor activities.

Pet owners are also advised to not let pets get in the water or drink from the lake.

The state of Nebraska has been conducting weekly sampling at the 55 public lake sites since the first week of May and will continue to monitor them weekly through the end of September. The state’s monitoring is conducted at public lakes with swimming beaches and high public activity. Sampling results for HAB and bacteria will be updated every Friday and posted on NDEE’s website.

For more information about what to look for, potential health effects from HAB, and steps to avoid exposure, please refer to the following Fact Sheet. To view the weekly data for the lakes sampled, go to click here.

NDEE’s sampling partners include the Central District Health Department, Nebraska Public Power District, Upper Republican Natural Resources District, Lower Republican NRD, South Platte NRD, Middle Niobrara NRD, Lower Loup NRD, Nemaha NRD, Lower Elkhorn NRD, and the United States Army Corps of Engineers.