Blue-green algae blooms affecting some shorelines around Georgian Bay Township

The water should not be used for swimming or drinking

A heads-up from the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) about the presence of blue-green algae blooms in some areas around Georgian Bay Township.

The SMDHU says these blooms are impacting the southeast shoreline of Georgian Bay in the Ruta Road area. Blooms are also affecting things along the southwest and southeast shoreline of Little Lake in the Bonneville Road and Port Severn Road area.

Blooms may make the water look bluish-green, or like green pea soup or turquoise paint.

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit is recommending residents and visitors exercise caution where blue-green algae is visible and to take the following precautions:

  • Do not use the lake water for the preparation of infant formula.
  • Do not allow pets or livestock to drink or swim in the water where an algae bloom is visible.
  • Be cautious about eating fish caught in water where blue-green algae blooms occur.
  • Do not use herbicides, copper sulphate or other algaecides that may break open algae cells and release toxins into the water.
  • Avoid swimming and other water sport activities where an algae bloom is visible.

Many species of blue-green algae (also called cyanobacteria) have the potential to produce toxins that are harmful to the health of humans and animals. The Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks will be further analyzing samples to determine the presence of any toxins.

Symptoms from consuming toxins from a blue-green algae bloom can include headaches, fever, diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, and can be more serious if water is swallowed in large quantities.