Blue-green algae information

Blue-green algae look much like other, more common algae but they’re really a type of bacteria called “cyanobacteria.” The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) samples recreational bodies of water for blue-green algae when they are alerted to a potential algae bloom. Contact with high concentrations of the cyanobacteria can cause illness. KDHE issues a Public Health Watch or Public Health Warning based on either the presence of certain toxins, the number of cyanobacteria cells in the water or a combination of the two.

The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT); the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USCE); and the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) cooperate with KDHE when a Watch or Warning is issued to alert the public about potentially harmful algae blooms.

To see the current KDHE blue-green algae watches and warning, go to their website at: