Willow Creek State Recreation Area

LINCOLN — A health alert for harmful algal blooms, also known as toxic blue-green algae, has been removed at Willow Creek Reservoir in Pierce County.

The alert remains in effect for Wagon Train Lake in Lancaster County.

Samples taken by the Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy on Aug. 3 at Wagon Train Lake were above the health alert threshold of 8 parts per billion (ppb) of total microcystin, which is a toxin released by certain strains of blue-green algae.

This is a lower threshold than previous years, based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommendations. Previously, the state had set a limit of 20 ppb, but adopted the new limits after concluding that the new EPA threshold is based on the best scientific evidence available, and is protective of public health.

Lakes with beaches and those that allow power boating are tested weekly through the summer, and sampling results will be updated every Friday. Health alerts are lifted immediately when algal toxin levels are below 8 ppb. To view weekly data for the lakes sampled, visit deq-iis.ne.gov/zs/bw/.

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