On Friday, July 10, 2020, some pictures were shared on Facebook which appear to show a bloom of blue-green algae by the Scouts Canada Lodge. The New Brunswick Department of Environment has visited the site to take samples that will be sent to a laboratory in Quebec for chemical analysis in order to determine what is present in the water and whether it poses a danger to users of the lake. The hope is that results will be returned by mid-week, next week.
The province has made available some general safety information about Blue-Green Algae on their website: https://www2.gnb.ca/content/gnb/en/departments/ocmoh/healthy_environments/content/blue_green_algae.html. Please educate yourself by following the above link; we have provided some safety information below as well.
Some blue-green algae can produce toxins, which can cause skin, eye and throat irritation. More serious health effects such as gastrointestinal illness can occur if toxins are consumed.
Public Health recommends the safety advice below for all recreational water bodies including the ones with advisories. Its important to remember that just because you don’t see it in the area your swimming, it doesn’t mean its not present elsewhere. Our safety advice is primarily targeted at humans, for animal specific information, please talk to your veterinarian.
Safety advice includes:
- Always check the water before entering and avoid using the water if algae is present
- Do not swallow lake or river water when swimming, and always supervise young children and pets in recreational waters.
- Bathe or shower immediately after swimming.
- Do not enter the water with open cuts or sores.
- Do not use water from areas with blue-green algae blooms for drinking or cooking. Boiling the water will not remove toxins. Always obtain drinking water from a clean and safe source.
- Fish caught from water where algae are present should have all their organs removed and be rinsed well with clean drinking water before being cooked and eaten.
- Even if no algae are present, it is recommended you shower with clean water after being in recreational waters.