FRANKFORT, Ky. (Oct. 9, 2015) – The Kentucky Division of Water (DOW) and the Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) are removing the recreational use advisory for the section of the Ohio River that encompasses the IRONMAN triathlon swim course and runs from Cardinal Harbour in Oldham County to the McAlpine Locks and Dam, effective immediately. Results from recent sampling by DOW indicate the levels of microcystin toxin occurring in this area of the river are below the advisory threshold for recreating in the water.
The recreational advisory issued for this section of the river above the McAlpine Locks and Dam on Sept. 18, 2015, was prompted by the presence of harmful algal blooms (HABs) on the river. The advisory was issued when water sampling results showed levels above the DOW recreational threshold of 20 parts per billion of microcystin toxins. The recreational advisory remains for the upper McAlpine pool to the West Virginia state line, and from the McAlpine locks and dam to the Cannelton locks and dam in Hancock County. The DOW and DPH are continuing to coordinate with states along the river and the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO) to monitor conditions on the Ohio River.
The DOW and DPH remind the public that there are always risks associated with recreating in natural waters, especially with the incidental ingestion of water. The agencies advise the public to avoid contact with waters that have obvious algal blooms or are otherwise visually suspect.
If you are concerned that you have symptoms that are a result of exposure to HABs or other water borne disease please see your doctor and call your local health department.
For additional information about HABs or other water quality concerns, contact Melanie
Arnold at the Kentucky Division of Water at (502) 564-3410 or Jennifer Burt, Division of Public Health Protection and Safety, Department for Public Health, at (502) 564-4537.