How Can I Identify a Blue-Green Algae Bloom?
There has been a dramatic increase in blue green algae blooms in Ontario in recent years. As a result many lakefront property owners are very concerned when they see blooms or floating masses which they think could be a bloom.
Blue-green algae will have a shimmering, blue-green colour. It may also have a foamy sheen-like appearance, which looks like spilled paint floating on top of the water. Heavy blooms appear like a solid shimmering blue-green sheen across the water's surface, or have an appearance and consistency similar to pea soup. A bloom is not small specs - it is a larger mass. It may also smell like raw sewage. (source: Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture)
What To Do If You Spot A Blue Green Algae Bloom
- Notify the Ministry of the Environment Spills Action Centre at 1-800-268-6060
- Notify your Lake Association so that your Association can let all the members on the lake know
- Do Not
- Swim in the lake
- Let pets or any animals swim or drink from the lake
- Do Not allow water from the lake to enter your house/cottage
- Most water treatment systems will not safely treat water with a blue green algae bloom
- Boiling or chlorinating the water can release toxins into the air
- Even UV filters will not safely treat water which contains a blue green algae bloom
- Stop using the water and seek medical attention if symptoms such as skin, eye or throat irritation, allergic reactions or breathing difficulties occur while in contact with untreated surface waters.
- Do not eat fish caught in the water body.
Where to get more information: