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Water Today Title October 22, 2020

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Blue-green algae



This story is brought to you in part by Waterloo Biofilter Systems

In a news release on July 17, 2018, Toronto Public Health (TPH) Had "received confirmation from the Ministry of the Environment. Conservation and Parks of the presence of blue-green algae blooms at the mouth of Mimico Creek and in Humber Bay Park East." The release said that the sample that was taken and tested indicated a "presence" of cyanobacteria.

Mahesh Patel, TPH Manager of Healthy Environments, explained the release was issued "to warn the public of the presence of blue-green algae blooms, [...] so residents could take the appropriate precautions to avoid interaction with the harmful toxins in the water."

Patel assured that "this is not a normal occurrence in Toronto." He went on to say that "blue-green algae usually thrive in shallow, slow-moving and warm waters." The Healthy Environments Manager added, "the warmer than normal conditions this summer with other aforementioned conditions have contributed to these unusual blooms."

Patel said, "blooms of blue-green algae have been reported in various locations throughout Ontario typically during the warmer weather of late summer." To date, TPH has not received any reports of illness related to the current blooms.

When asked if there was a timeline for the removal of the advisory Patel said "TPH will continue to monitor the situation and inform the public on this topic." He added, "we encourage residents to take precautions when visiting this part of the Toronto waterfront."

"Beaches in this area are not regularly monitored for water quality or supervised by lifeguards," Patel said. TPH urges "people not to enter the water in this section of Mimico Creek," in case of accidental contact or ingestion of the toxin. Pets should also be restricted from swimming in the Creek.

Toronto monitors the water quality, daily, on 11 public beaches "from June to Labour Day to ensure safe levels for swimming," Patel said. For more information on the water quality at the Queen City's beaches, the public can visit the TPH SwimSafe website.


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