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Health unit asks public to report blue-green algae

The health unit has advised that even when a bloom has disappeared, toxins can persist in bodies of water for a period of time
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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.

About the Author: Mackenzie Casalino

Mackenzie Casalino is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the North Bay Nugget. The LJI is funded by the government of Canada
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