New answers emerge for toxic algae issues Milford Lake

MILFORD, Kan. (KSNT) – Those living near Milford Lake voiced their concerns today about a toxic algae in the water. The Kansas Water Office has created a game plan for combating the blue-green algae issue.

People near Milford Lake…

“This lake has been plagued over the last 6 years,” Tom Stiles, the Associate Director, Bureau of Water, Kansas Department of Health and Environment said.

Have complained of a bad smell….

“Blue green algae blooms that have been just unlike anything we have seen elsewhere in the lake both in terms of magnitude and the persistence,” Stiles said.

And a different color on the surface of the lake for last 6 years. The culprit? Toxic blue-green algae.

“We have lost a few campers this year,” Mike Carney, Clay County Park Manager said. “I don’t believe are going to be coming back due to it.”

“This stuff is worse and worse every year,” Mayor of Milford, Brad Roether said.

It’s even taking a toll on those working on a solution…

“It’s almost become personal to try to make things better,” Stiles said.

The Kansas Water Office and Kansas Department of Health and Environment think they have the answer.

“The short term is looking at ways to manage the lake and resources around the lake to keep the nutrient levels tied up so they don’t fuel these blooms from happening,” Stiles said.

“Well the long term solution is to reduce the amount phosphorus entering the reservoir,” Tracy Streeter, Kansas Water Office Director said.

So far the two departments have spent more than $500,000 on combating the toxic algae blooms.

“We are trying,” Stiles said. “We are trying to find the solutions so that what they suffered through this summer happens very rarely in the future.”

The Milford Lake has had a serious issue with the toxic blue green algae. Now Kansas Water Office is holding a meeting on October 19 where they’ll finalize the plan for the clean-up process.

Officials say the toxic blue green algae issue is not just contained to Kansas. It has appeared in at least two other states, Minnesota and Ohio.

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