Health Unit issues notices about Blue Green Algae


Algal bloom in Three Mile Lake, Muskoka Lakes Township

On August 19th the health unit issued a notice that a potential blue-green algal bloom had been detected in Three Mile Lake, in Muskoka Lakes Township.

Water sampling has been conducted but the results have not yet been received to confirm the presence of algal toxins. However, due to the appearance of the water at some locations, the health unit strongly believes that a blue-green algal bloom is present. A precautionary warning has been issued that toxins may also be present. Read the full notice being distributed for residents and property owners on the lake.

Algal Bloom in Lake St. John, Ramara Township

Testing conducted by the MOECC has confirmed the presence of a blue-green algae bloom in Lake St. John, Ramara Township. The test results show a mix of blue-green algae and ongoing sampling continues to detect the presence of algal toxins, called microcystins. The health unit reminds you to use an alternate source of water for drinking and cooking, and to avoid contact with the water where a bloom exists or has very recently collapsed. You can read the full notice issued to residents and property owners on the lake.

Blue-green algae are common in the warm summer months, occurring naturally in area lakes and rivers. Algae blooms thrive in areas where the water is shallow, slow moving and warm.

If blooms are visible:

  • Do not use the water for preparing breastmilk substitute (infant formula).
  • People should not use the water for drinking, food preparation, bathing or showering.
  • Do not allow children, pets and or livestock to swim in or drink the water.
  • Avoid eating fish caught from areas were an algae bloom is present.
  • If you suspect a blue-green algal bloom, call the Spills Action Centre at 1-800-268-6060.

How to reduce blue-green algae blooms:

  • Use phosphate-free detergents, personal care and household cleaning products.
  • Avoid using fertilizers on lawns, especially fertilizers that contain phosphorus.
  • Maintain a natural shoreline on lake and riverfront properties.
  • Reduce agricultural runoff by planting or maintaining vegetation along waterways and minimizing fertilizer use.
  • Check septic systems to ensure they do not leak into the water source.

Source: Government of Ontario, Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, Blue-Green Algae Fact Sheet


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