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Water Today Title September 21, 2018

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Update 2018/8/20
Blue-green algae


MUSKOKA LAKES, ON: BLUE-GREEN ALGAE BLOOMS CONFIRMED IN TWO LAKES


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By Cori Marshall


Blue-green algae have affected two lakes in the Township of Muskoka Lakes, Ontario. Three Mile Lake and Clark Falls - Lake Rosseau, were reported on July 31 and August 17 respectfully by the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU).

Christina Wieder, Manager, Safe Water Program Environmental Health Department at the SMDHU, explained the "Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks collected water samples from these lakes and confirmed the presence of blue-green algae blooms."

Wieder said that when confirming the presence of a bloom, testing looks "at the type of microorganisms as well as the numbers. Subsequent testing provides toxin confirmation and Microcystin levels."

    "There have been confirmed blue-green algae
    blooms in Three Mile Lake in the past."

    Christina Wieder, Manager, Safe Water Program Environmental Health Department at the SMDHU

When asked if the algal bloom was concentrated in specific areas or spread across the two lakes Wieder responded, "blue-green algae can move its location based on wind direction and wave movement." She added, "we usually caution the whole lake for this reason."

There are exceptions to this rule "in a large lake, like Lake Rosseau we were specific in where it was identified and confirmed."

To date "the health unit has not received any reports of health issues related to blue-green algae," Wieder said.

The SMDHU calls on the population to exercise caution, adding that those not on municipal water supplies should not consume surface water during blooms and that people and animals should avoid contact with any discoloured water.

cori.m@watertoday.ca





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