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Water Today Title June 29, 2022

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Asvisory of the Day



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A potentially dangerous blue-green algae bloom has been spotted on Nashwaak Lake in New Brunswick, prompting an advisory for the water body.

The Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health for the province advises those who may be visiting the lake to avoid swimming and other water related activities with dense blooms.

This particular advisory, issued on July 24 is one of thirteen active advisories within New Brunswick, some of which date back until before 2010.

According to Sarah Williams, a Communication Officer for the Department of Health, "A general advisory on blue-green algal blooms is released in the late spring/early summer each year to ensure New Brunswick residents are aware of the potential health risks posed by some algal blooms in recreational waters."

She went on to mention that lakes with an established history of reoccurring blue-green algae blooms have advisory signs posted in the late spring/early summer as well.

When the Department of Health is notified of a possible algal bloom in a new body of water, it works with the Department of Environment as well as local government to confirm whether blue-green algae are present.

Once confirmed, the Regional Medical Officer of Health will issue an advisory for the lake if appropriate.

Williams also pointed out that because blue-green algal blooms can be unpredictable, advisories remain in effect each year and may only be lifted by a Medical Officer of Health.

Blue-green algae can be caused by agricultural run-off, storm water systems or sometimes leaking septic beds. Consuming water tainted with the bacteria can be harmful to both humans and animals, be it livestock or pets.

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