Blue-green algae has been confirmed in water tests from Musky Bay in the West Arm of Lake Nipissing.
The Ministry of the Environment advised the Sudbury and District Health Unit of those results July 22 from samples taken July 16.
The species of blue-green algae, more properly known as cyanobacteria, is of the type that produce toxins harmful to people.
Blue-green algal blooms have an unsightly pea-soup appearance and foul smell. Residents should avoid using or drinking water from areas where blooms are visible.
The health unit advises people to be on the lookout for algal blooms in area waterways. If you see a bloom near your property or water intake line:
-Avoid using the water for drinking, bathing, or showering, and do not allow children, pets, or livestock to drink or swim in the bloom;
-Be aware that shallow drinking water intake pipes can pump in blue-green algae;
-Do not boil the water or treat it with a disinfectant like bleach, because it breaks open the algae cells, which releases more toxins into the water.
-Avoid cooking with the water because food may absorb toxins from the water during cooking.
-Exercise caution with respect to eating fish caught in water where blue-green algal blooms occur. Residents should not eat the liver, kidneys, and other organs of fish caught in the water.
-Do not rely on water jug filtration systems as they may not protect against the toxins.
On lakes and rivers where blue-green algal blooms are confirmed, people who use the surface water for their private drinking water supply may wish to consider an alternate, protected source of water.
For more information, visit the health unit’s website at www.sdhu.com or call 705-522-9200, ext. 398, or toll-free at 1-866-522-9200.