August 28, 2019 - The Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks has informed the Health Unit that the toxin analysis of the blue-green algae bloom on Hawkeye Lake has shown that toxins were not present in the sample. Note that this result reflects the water conditions when the lake was originally sampled on August 21, 2019. Please continue to exercise caution as blue-green algae blooms may recur and toxin production may vary for the rest of the season.
For a list of current blue-green algae notifications, along with the results of toxin analysis, please see TBDHU’s new blue-green algae web page at: https://www.tbdhu.com/health-topics/beaches-pools/blue-green-algae.
When a blue-green algae bloom is present, it is important to avoid drinking the water, using it for household purposes, or swimming in it. This applies to both humans and pets.
Blue-green algae are microscopic organisms that are naturally present in lakes and streams. They are usually present in low numbers but can rapidly increase in warm, shallow, surface water that gets a lot of sun. When this happens, they can form blooms that can make the water look like green pea soup or turquoise paint. Some blue-green algae blooms produce toxins that pose a health risk to people and animals when consumed, inhaled, or even from skin contact. If contact with a blue-green algae bloom does occur, wash with soap and water and rinse with clean water to remove the algae.
Blue-green algae blooms in lakes in our region are relatively uncommon. However, with rising water temperatures they may become more common. Property owners who use surface water for drinking or household purposes like dish-washing or showering should consider the risks of doing so. If you spot a suspected blue-green algae bloom, report it to the Spills Action Centre at 1-800-268-6060.
For more information on blue-green algae blooms, please visit the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks website at: https://www.ontario.ca/page/blue-green-algae.
If you have questions, please contact the Thunder Bay District Health Unit at (807) 625-5900 to speak with a public health inspector.
For more information: Health Unit Media email@example.com