Residents and visitors to Lake St. John in the Township of Ramara are being cautioned about a confirmed blue-green algae bloom impacting the southwest shoreline of Lake St. John.
Many species of blue-green algae (also called cyanobacteria) have the potential to produce toxins that are harmful to the health of humans and animals. The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit is recommending all persons take the following precautions around waterways where blue-green algae is visible:
- Do not drink water from private water supplies that draw from or are impacted by the area of the lake where blue-green algae has been identified.
- Do not use the private surface water supply taken from affected lake water for the preparation of infant formula.
- Do not swim or engage in other water sport activities where an algae bloom is visible. Blooms may make the water look bluish-green, or like green pea soup or turquoise paint.
- Do not allow pets or livestock to drink or swim in the water where an algae bloom is visible.
- Fish taken from waters with cyanobacterial blooms have the potential to contain toxins. Exercise caution when eating fish caught in water where blue-green algae blooms occur.
- Do not use herbicides, copper sulphate or other algaecides that may break open algae cells and release toxins into the water.
Symptoms following contact or consuming toxins from a blue-green algae bloom can include skin, eye or throat irritation, breathing difficulties, headaches, fever, diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting. Symptoms can be more serious if water is swallowed in large quantities.
The health unit and the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks will continue to work together to monitor the algal bloom and will provide updates on our website.
For more information about blue-green algae visit smdhu.org/algae or call Health Connection at 705-721-7520 or 1-877-721-7520, weekdays between 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.