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Warm weather could lead to formation of blue green algae blooms

Water Security Agency, Ministry of Health reminding the public about the risks

Although there is no need to worry yet, the Water Security Agency and the Ministry of Health want the public to be aware of the potential for blue-green algae blooms.

Lakes across the province are at risk of developing algae blooms. So far, there have been no lake closures of advisories, but warm temperatures can result in quick formation of blooms.

Algae blooms typically occur during calm, hot weather in areas of lakes and reservoirs with shallow, slow moving or still water that has sufficient nutrients. Algae blooms may give the water a shimmering, foamy pea soup appearance. They are usually blue-green, bright blue, grey, or tan in colour.

You should avoid swimming in or drinking water where blue-green algae blooms can be found. Pet owners and livestock producers should also take steps to protect animals.

Contact with affected water can cause red skin, sore throat, cramps, or diarrhea. If you have any symptoms, call Healthline at 811 or contact your health care provider.

You should also be mindful of animals that are in contact with algae blooms. In particular, be careful of fish or shellfish caught in affected areas. You should limit your consumption of fish organs, including the skin. Correctly gutted or filleted fish represent minimal to no health hazard.

Algae blooms may last up to three weeks.

Visit the government’s Healthy Beaches website to get weekly updates from July through September on water quality issues at recreational beaches. Please note that beach advisories and closures can happen at any time and may not be immediately posted on the website. You should always follow the notifications posted at the beach.

More information is available at the SaskH20 website.


Scott Hellings

About the Author: Scott Hellings

Former Moose Jaw Express reporter, now the Digital Editor for Moose Jaw Today.
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