The health unit advises not to swim in any bloom that obscures the water, even if it’s not blue-green algae. Using the water for cooking, drinking or other consumptions is not advised at category 2 and 3. If water is treated, wait at least a week after the bloom has subsided before normal use of the treated water.
“Even when a bloom has disappeared, toxins can persist in water bodies for a period of time.”
Do not use the water for bathing, swimming or brushing teeth, warns the health unit.
“If a bloom is not present, you may continue regular recreational activities; showering afterwards and avoiding consumption of raw lake water.”
Even consuming fish that have been caught in bodies of water can pose a health risk.
At category 2 and 3, individuals with sensitive skin may develop mild symptoms of skin rash or eye irritation. Ingesting the water may result in a range of health effects.
If a member of the public observes a harmful algae bloom, they should call the Ministry of Environment Conservation and Parks-Spills Action Centre- 1800-268-6060.