Wednesday December 19, 2018

Blue Green Algae Alert from CHA

We received an email from CHA today about blue green algae in our region’s lakes.  It notes:

As you may be aware there have been multiple reports of Blue Green Algae on lakes across Haliburton County this month.

There has also been a change that you and your members need to know about.

This (attached) memo gives you the needed info and suggests some actions that you may want to take before your lake is affected

In years past once a bloom had been confirmed the local Health departments would go door to door and leave a notice notifying property owners to not let people or pets into the lake, draw water from the lake or eat fish caught in the lake. The Health department tells us that they no longer have the resources to do that.

Keep in mind that having blue green algae present in your lakes does not necessarily mean that you have a toxic bloom

They will ask the municipality to notify property owners – the problem is that this notice will be by mail and could therefore take a week or more and will not reach cottagers at their cottage but will be mailed to their home – by which time they could have been exposed. The C.H.A. sees this as a potential problem that needs to be addressed.

What To Do If You Spot a Blue Green Algae Bloom

  1. Notify the Ministry of the Environment Spills Action Centre at 1-800-268-6060.
  2. Notify the Lake Association so that we can let all the members on the lake know by emailing peter@hallshawklakes.ca
  3. Tell your neighbours
  4. Do Not swim in the lake or let pets or any animals swim or drink from the lake
  5. Do Not allow water from the lake to enter your house/cottage
  6. Most water treatment systems will not safely treat water with a blue green algae bloom
  7. Boiling or chlorinating the water can release toxins into the air; even UV filters will not safely treat water which contains a blue green algae bloom
  8. Stop using the water and seek medical attention if symptoms such as skin, eye or throat irritation, allergic reactions or breathing difficulties occur while in contact with untreated surface waters.
  9. Do not eat fish caught in the water body.

The attached PDF gives more information about blue green algae & what it looks like.  Fingers crossed we never spot it!

Blue Green Algae – identify & actions Sept 2018