Kansas Department of Health and Environment

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Millions of gallons of sewage that have spilled into the Kansas River at Topeka since spring are no cause for alarm, Kansas health officials said this week.

The issue started in April, when roughly 3 million gallons of raw sewage made it into the river after a power failure at a Topeka pump station, the Topeka Capital-Journal reported. On Tuesday, a sanitary sewer main leak caused 55,000 gallons of raw sewage to flow into the river at a Topeka wastewater treatment plant.

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The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has issued a warning of high levels of toxic blue-green algae for six lakes.

The agency said Thursday the lakes under warning status are in Brown, Sedgwick, Jewell, Marion, Barton and Rooks counties.

The environmental agency said in a statement that boating and fishing on the lakes under warning are safe, but people should avoid direct contact with the water.

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The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has issued a health advisory for areas of the state that may experience flooding due to recent rains. KMUW's Aileen LeBlanc reports.

There are physical dangers with high-stream flows and flooding, but there are also possible problems with illness caused by contact with the high waters. KDHE warns the public that pathogens may exist in flooded areas due to surface runoff as well as to water treatment systems being infiltrated with flood waters. Pathogens can then be carried out and moved downstream.

Kansas Department of Health and Environment

 

This story originally aired during Morning Edition on 05/04/2014. 

Residents of a West Wichita neighborhood learned in March that their private water wells had been contaminated with a chemical likely to cause major health defects. They’ve also learned that the contamination could be decades old.

Ron Barnhart owns a well groomed, one story home in west Wichita.

Kansas Department of Health and Environment

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment announced on Monday they’ve completed the bulk of their work to address groundwater contamination found in West Wichita. 

KDHE first notified residents back in March that their private water wells were contaminated by a large plume of tetrachloroethylene—or PCE—a likely carcinogen. The organization has since spent over $2.5 million connecting 197 homes to city water lines. 

http://ldchealth.org

The man who has headed the Kansas Department of Health and Environment for the past four years is stepping down. Dr. Robert Moser announced late Monday that he will leave the agency at the end of the month. More from Jim McLean of the KHI News Service.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has received a federal grant of almost $1 million to help the CDC develop strategies to reduce the number of violent deaths. As Kansas Public Radio's Bryan Thompson explains, the state will share homicide and suicide data with the National Violent Death Reporting System for five years.

Sean Sandefur

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment maintains a list of Harmful Algal Blooms throughout the state. So far this summer, ten lakes have been affected by blue-green algae. The organism can be found in most bodies of water, but in large quantities they can pose a health risk to humans and animals.

The Kansas Water Vision team will be in Wichita on Monday to get feedback on the first draft of the vision. KMUWs Abigail Wilson has more…

The Kansas Water Vision team will hold a 90-minute meeting Monday at the Sedgwick County Extension Education Center in west Wichita. The meeting will focus on Governor Sam Brownback’s Call to Action for a 50-Year Vision for the Future of Water in Kansas.

Tracy Streeter, director of the Kansas Water Office, says the team hopes to create dialogue and receive input on the first draft of Vision.

Kansas health officials delayed a new Medicaid service a day before it was scheduled to begin because it did not have enough contractors to cover the entire state.

The “health home” service was to provide case management for people with chronic medical conditions and those with severe mental illness.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment notified service providers Monday that the part of the program for the chronically ill would be delayed. It was to begin enrolling patients on Tuesday.

The service for the mentally ill will continue.

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