Toxic blue-green algae confirmed on area lakes

Blue-green algae blooms have been confirmed on Mississippi and Dalhousie Lakes, west of Ottawa. Recent sunny, calm weather has contributed to the algae multiplying to dangerous levels in shallow areas of the two lakes.

“Algae are a natural part of the food chain in any lake system,” says Kelly Stiles, Aquatic Biologist with the Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority.

“However this one in particular is of health concern to humans because when it breaks down the cells decay. And what comes out of the cells can be toxic in certain concentrations.”

Waterfront owners and recreational users are advised not to swim in or use the lake water for drinking or bathing until the local health unit gives its okay. The elderly and the very young are particularly at risk of getting ill.

Home treatment systems may not remove toxins so they shouldn’t be relied on.

Pets and livestock should also be restricted from accessing the water.

Blue-green algae blooms are not uncommon throughout Eastern Ontario and West Quebec during the summer and early fall. It is difficult to predict how long they will last. Typically they break up and mix with deeper water once the wind picks up.

If you are concerned about a potential algae bloom you can contact the MOECC Spill Action Hotline at 1-800-268-6060.


Photo caption: A blue-green algae bloom near Ebbs Shore on Mississippi Lake, Sep. 2014. Courtesy: Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority

View original article at: Toxic blue-green algae confirmed on area lakes


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