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Nebraska City News-Press - Nebraska City, NE
  • HEALTH ALERT: Iron Horse Trail Lake on health alert status

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  • Iron Horse Trail Lake near DuBois has been placed on “Health Alert Status,” which restricts all body-contact activities including swimming, wading, and water skiing are restricted.
    Water tests collected on Aug. 4  returned toxic algae levels at  above limits set for safe contact with the water.
    The lake will stay on Health Alert until Aug. 22 at the earliest, and any further high readings will extend restrictions.
    Signs will remain posted at the lake informing visitors of the restrictions until further notice. NRD staff collect water samples each Monday, but test results are not available until the end of the week.
    As of Friday, Aug. 8, none of the other Nemaha NRD lakes are on health alert status.
    Nemaha NRD officials report that the recreation area itself remains open, and all other usual activities such as boating, fishing, picnicking, camping, and hiking are permitted.
    Park visitors are urged not to ingest or make contact with the water.
    "Most of the risk associated with this form of algae is limited to skin irritations; however, gastrointestinal illness and liver disease could result from ingestion of the water," an NRD official stated in a press release. "Lake visitors should note, however, that the levels of toxic algae can change dramatically in a short period of time. Therefore, if you observe toxic algae, which resembles bright green paint on the lake surface, avoid contact with the water."
    Further alerts will be issued via local news media and the Nemaha NRD’s website, www.nemahanrd.org and on Facebook. The district maintains a message on its voicemail system.
    For more information on toxic blue-green algae or to view the status of lakes sampled in Nebraska, click on the “Environmental Alerts” button on the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality’s web site www.deq.state.ne.us; or contact the Nemaha NRD in Tecumseh at (402) 335-3325.

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