The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit would like to inform residents and visitors that a blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) bloom has been confirmed by laboratory testing on a shoreline property in the west end of Brandy Lake, Township of Muskoka Lakes.
Wind and water currents can change the location of algae blooms, which may make the water look bluish-green, or like green pea soup or turquoise paint. Swimming and other water sport activities should also be avoided in areas where a blue-green algae bloom is visible.
The health unit is advising residents around the west end of Brandy Lake, to avoid using the lake water for drinking or food preparation, including breastmilk substitute (infant formula). Boiling the water will not destroy the toxins, and home treatment systems should not be relied on.
Exposure to blue-green algae, whether for drinking, swimming, cooking or through eating fish caught from the west end of Brandy Lake may result in illness. Adverse health effects are mainly caused by drinking water that is contaminated with blue-green algae toxins. Symptoms from consuming toxins can include headaches, fever, diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, and can be more serious if water is swallowed in large quantities.
SMDHU and the MECP will continue to monitor the lake and updates will be posted on the health unit’s website at.
For more information about blue-green algae please visit the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit website, or call Health Connection weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 705-721-7520 or 1-877-721-7520.