Algoma Public Health has received confirmation of a blue-green algae bloom in Cloudy Lake in Echo Bay. Laboratory results from a water sample submitted by the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks confirmed the presence of a blue-green bloom. This is a follow up to the news release issued on September 20, 2019.
Blue-green algae are naturally found in freshwater lakes. They are often present in low numbers and barely visible. When conditions are right, they can increase in numbers to form a scum called a bloom.
“Not all blooms are harmful but some types of blue-green algae produce toxins that can make humans and animals sick when breathed-in, swallowed or touched,” says Blair Shaw, a public health inspector with Algoma Public Health. “Symptoms may include vomiting, fever, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps or skin, eyes, nose and throat irritation.”
As a precautionary measure, Algoma Public Health recommends that residents:
- Do not use the water for recreational activities such as swimming or water skiing when a bloom is visible
- Do not drink the water or use it for food preparation
- Use alternative safe water sources such as bottled or municipally treated water.
- Residential water treatment devices cannot remove the toxins. Boiling or adding bleach to the water increases the amount of toxins and does not make it safe to use.
- Do not bathe or shower in the water
- Do not let pets or livestock use the water for drinking or wading
- Do not eat the liver, kidneys or other organs of fish caught in the water
Learn more about what you can do to reduce conditions for the growth of blue-green algae.