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Enjoy Kentucky’s many rivers, lakes and creeks — here are safety tips to avoid health risks

With warmer weather here, more outdoor activities are taking place. 

State officials are offering some safety tips to help Kentuckians enjoy the many rivers, lakes and creeks in which to boat, fish, swim, canoe or otherwise enjoy water resources.

The Kentucky Division of Water and the Department for Public Health say despite many water quality improvements, there is the potential for human health risks in any body of water. By using common sense, the risks of experiencing water-derived health issues can be greatly decreased.

Among their recommendations:

– 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.

They also urge that if you experience symptoms such as gastrointestinal upset or rash, after recreation in natural waters, such as streams, rivers or lakes; consult your physician or call your local health department.

More information concerning the quality of Kentucky’s water resources, such as advisories or impairments can be found at the Kentucky Water Health Portal. See this website.

Kentucky Division of Water

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