Reservoir algae free once again

Staff writer

Since May, Marion Reservoir has been plagued by blue-green algae. This week Kansas Department of Health and Environment gave the all clear to resume water activity at the reservoir, allowing the beaches to be open.

Last week KDHE downgraded the reservoir’s warning to an advisory, but this week, while other lakes around the state were added to the list, the reservoir was completely removed. Why?

Tom Stiles, chief of watershed planning for KDHE, says the bloom has exhausted itself and died off. He doesn’t anticipate the bloom returning.

“Maybe if conditions were right after a while, but I’m hopeful we’ve seen the last for 2014,” he said.

The algae would be more likely to return if the blooms kept multiplying throughout the summer, rather than dying off, Stiles said.

Conditions for the blooms to return include hot temperatures, runoff into the reservoir, and light. Even though rain fell several times throughout the week, Stiles does not anticipate the bloom returning because murky water would not allow light to reach the bottom of the reservoir.

 

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