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APH warns of potential blue-green algae bloom in Echo Lake

Algae blooms can make humans and animals sick when breathed-in, swallowed or touched
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Algoma Public Health and the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks have issued a warning about a potential blue-green algae bloom in Echo Lake.

Some types of blue-green algae blooms produce toxins that can make people and animals sick.

APH advises people to avoid use of the water for drinking, cooking or recreation and to avoid eating fish caught in the affected water.

The press release included below provides more information:

Algoma Public Health, in consultation with the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks is advising residents and visitors of a potential blue-green algae bloom in Echo Lake in Garden River First Nation and Kehoe Township. Blue-green algae blooms have been confirmed in this lake in the past.

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, when a bloom is visible, Algoma Public Health recommends that residents:

* Do not use the water for recreational activities such as swimming or water skiing
* 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 bath 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.