MUSKOKA LAKES TOWNSHIP — As suspected, that bluish-green tinge at the west end of Brandy Lake is an algae bloom.
It’s been confirmed.
The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) has been advised by the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) that laboratory tests have confirmed the presence of a blue-green algae bloom in the west end of Brandy Lake, in the Township of Muskoka Lakes.
Wind and water currents can change the location of algae blooms, which may make the water look bluish-green, or like green pea soup or turquoise paint, says a release from the health unit.
They advise that swimming and other water sport activities should also be avoided in areas where a blue-green algae bloom is visible.
The health unit is advising residents around the west end of Brandy Lake, to avoid using the lake water for drinking or food preparation, including breastmilk substitute (infant formula). Boiling the water will not destroy the toxins, and home treatment systems should not be relied on.
Exposure to blue-green algae, whether for drinking, swimming, cooking or through eating fish caught from the west end of Brandy Lake may result in illness. Adverse health effects are mainly caused by drinking water that is contaminated with blue-green algae toxins. Symptoms from consuming toxins can include headaches, fever, diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, and can be more serious if water is swallowed in large quantities.
SMDHU and the MECP will continue to monitor the lake and updates will be posted on the health unit’s website at www.smdhu.org/algae.
To learn more about blue-green algae visit the health unit website atwww.simcoemuskokahealth.org, or call Health Connection weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 705-721-7520 or 1-877-721-7520.