LINCOLN, Neb. — Scientists are working to get a better understanding of what causes toxic algae to flourish in some lakes.

The Environmental Protection Agency says it will work with state officials in Nebraska and Kansas to identify sources of water pollution and assess the toxic algae blooms.

When algae flares up in lakes, health officials restrict access because contact with the water can cause illness.

The EPA says it can be challenging for environmental managers to monitor sources of E. coli and algae blooms.

The research will use an advanced monitoring technology to find sources of fecal contamination in rivers and streams in Nebraska.

In Kansas, researchers will work to identify the species of bacteria that produce toxins and promote algae blooms.