The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) is issuing a drinking water advisory to the City of Wellington, City of Mayfield and Sumner Co. Rural Water Districts 1, 2 and 3. This advisory comes after samples collected by the City of Wellington reported levels of a blue-green algae toxin called microcystins in drinking water delivered to consumers. The levels in drinking water exceeded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) 10-day Health Advisory levels of 0.3 micrograms per liter of microcystins for bottle fed infants and children under 6 years old. Bottle fed infants and children under 6 years old should not consume the water. For children over 6-years and adults, the water remains acceptable for drinking, food preparation and all household use. Do not boil the water before use as boiling will only concentrate the microcystin.
Microcystins entered the public water supply due to blue-green algae blooms occurring in Wellington City Lake, which is the source water for the City of Wellington’s water supply. The City of Mayfield and Sumner Co. Rural Water Districts 1, 2 and 3 purchase water from the City of Wellington.
The City of Wellington Public Water Supply is working with KDHE and will continue to monitor the public water supply. Additional samples will be collected and sent to the laboratory for analysis to confirm the microcystins levels consistently remain below the EPA 10-day Health Advisory level of 0.3 micrograms per liter of microcystins for bottle fed infants and children under 6 years old in drinking water delivered to consumers. Additional information can be found at EPA’s website: Harmful Algal Blooms and Cyanotoxins in Drinking Water
People and animals should always take steps to stay away from any blooms in surface waters because contact can make people and animals sick.