Blue-green algae blooms have been detected in Perry Township. The North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit says it’s been found in Clear Lake. The blooms could produce algal toxins and the health unit wants you to be careful when visiting. Anyone living along Clear Lake should avoid using the water for things like drinking, cooking and bathing. The health unit also says you should avoid eating certain organs of any fish caught in the water. The algae have also been found in Cache Lake in West Nipissing and Lake Talon in Bonfield.
The Health Unit advises residents take the following precautions immediately:
- Owners of private water systems should avoid using the water from the lake for drinking, cooking and bathing. Use another source of water for these purposes. NOTE: Boiling the water or using home water treatment devices will NOT destroy the toxins.
- Avoid swimming and other water sport activities that could increase the risk of algae material and toxins contacting your skin or being swallowed.Avoid using water from the lake for livestock or pets.
- Do not eat the liver, kidneys or other organs of fish caught in the water. Be cautious about eating the other parts of the fish caught in water where blue-green algae blooms occur.
- After blue-green algae blooms have been detected in a body of water, staff at the Health Unit and/or the District Office of the Ministry of the Environment cannot knowingly tell when it is safe to use for private water systems. For more information about blue-green algae, visit myhealthunit.ca or call the Health Unit at 705- 474-1400, ext. 2400 or 1-800-563-2808.
- Blue-green algae, known as ‘pond scum’, are primitive microscopic bacteria that live in fresh water. They are usually hard to see, but during hot weather, they can rapidly grow to form a large mass, called a bloom.
- Toxins can irritate the skin and, if ingested, cause diarrhea and vomiting. At high enough levels, the toxins may cause liver and nervous system damage. If skin contact does occur, wash with soap and water or rinse thoroughly with clean water to remove algae.