Summer weather is on the way (though you can’t tell it from today’s forecast), so many of us will be heading to Kentucky’s lakes and rivers for a wide array of recreational activities. While those waters may look crystal-clear and sparkling, it’s important to remember that they haven’t gone through the same treatment processes as our tap water. Today’s post on this subject comes to us from the Kentucky Hospital Research & Education Foundation.
With summer approaching, The Kentucky Division of Water (DOW) and the Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) offer these safety tips to help Kentuckians enjoy the many rivers, lakes and creeks in which to boat, fish, swim, canoe or otherwise enjoy our abundant water resources.
Despite many water quality improvements, there is the potential for human health risks in any body of water. By using a common sense approach, your risks of experiencing water-derived health issues can be greatly decreased.
DOW and DPH recommend that the public:
- Avoid ingesting or inhaling the water.
- Thoroughly clean hands and other areas that have come in contact with the water.
- Avoid allowing open wounds to have direct contact with the water.
- Avoid areas where swimming or harmful algal bloom (HAB) advisories have been issued.
- Avoid water with obvious odors or surface scums.
- Avoid getting in water after heavy rainfall, especially in dense residential, urban and agricultural areas.
- Avoid areas below wastewater treatment facility outfalls, animal feedlots, straight pipes or other obvious sources of pollution.
- Restrict pets and livestock from drinking the water if a bright green or blue-green surface scum is present.
More information concerning the quality of Kentucky’s water resources such as advisories or impairments can be found on the Kentucky Water Health Portal http://watermaps.ky.gov/WaterHealthPortal.
For more information on healthy swimming visit http://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/swimming/.