The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit has confirmed a blue-green algae blook in Lamont Creek in Stayner.
Residents are advised not to swim in the water or drink it; pets should also be kept out of the water.
[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Blue-green algae, technically known as cyanobacteria, are microscopic organisms that are naturally present in lakes and streams. They are usually present in low numbers but can rapidly increase in warm, shallow, undisturbed surface water that gets a lot of sun. When this happens, they can form blooms that discolour the water or produce floating scum on the surface of the water. Blooms often make the water look blue-green or olive-green, or like green pea soup or turquoise paint.[/perfectpullquote]
What Are the Potential Health Effects from Drinking or Coming in Contact with Blue-Green Algae?
Some blue-green algae produce toxins (Government of Canada) can pose a health risk to people and animals when they are exposed to them in large amounts. Your health may be impacted when surface scum or water containing high levels of blue-green algal toxins are swallowed, come into contact with the skin, or when airborne drops containing toxins are inhaled while swimming, bathing or showering.
Ingestion of high levels of blue-green algal toxins has been associated with effects on the liver and nervous system in laboratory animals, pets, livestock and people. Livestock and pet deaths have occurred when animals consumed large amounts of algal scum.
Direct contact, or breathing airborne droplets
Coming in contact with high levels of blue-green algal toxins while swimming or showering can irritate the skin, eyes and throat and inflame the respiratory tract.
Swimming and household contact, such as bathing or showering, with water not visibly affected by a blue-green algae bloom is not expected to cause health effects. However, some individuals can be especially sensitive to even low levels of algal toxins and might experience mild symptoms such as skin, eye or throat irritation or allergic reactions.
Waterways Affected by Blue-Green Algae
|Three Mile Lake||Muskoka Lakes||July 31, 2018|
|Clark Falls – Lake Rosseau||Muskoka Lakes||August 17, 2018|
|Boyd Bay/Indianhead Harbour||Muskoka Lakes||August 21, 2018|
|Lake St. John||Ramara Township||August 31, 2018|
|Magnus Park-Georgian Bay||Tay Township||September 14, 2018|
|Leonard Lake||Muskoka Lakes||September 14, 2018|
|Lamont Creek||Clearview Township||September 20, 2018|
source: Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit