Confirmed Blue-Green Algae Bloom in Cloudy Lake

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blue green algae

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.

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