The Halifax Regional Municipality is advising residents the risk advisory remains in effect for Lake Banook and Lake Micmac. Residents are encouraged to avoid swimming or allowing pets in these lakes until further notice.
Extra precautions are also recommended for Sullivan’s Pond due to the flow of the water stream.
The off-leash dog area of Shubie Park at Lake Micmac and Birch Cove Beach at Lake Banook will also remain closed to swimming until further notice.
Blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) is naturally occurring in freshwater environments and may become visible when weather conditions are calm. These organisms can multiply rapidly during the summer, leading to extensive growth called a bloom. Some types of algae produce toxins during blooms and when these blooms decay, the toxins may be released into the water, posing a risk to people and pets.
Users of Lake Banook and Lake Micmac are encouraged to take the following precautions:
- Avoid all contact with blue-green algae blooms. If contact occurs, wash with tap water as soon as possible.
- Do not swim or wade (or allow your pets to swim or wade) in any areas where blue-green algae is visible.
- Avoid consuming fish that has come from these lakes.
People who encounter blue-green algae or ingest water containing blue-green algae may experience skin irritation, rash, sore throat, sore red eyes, swollen lips, fever, nausea and vomiting and/or diarrhea. Children and immune-compromised individuals are at a higher risk.
The municipality is awaiting test results from recent water samples. Risk advisories are based on a number of factors, including test results as well as information regarding the current life-cycle phase of algae blooms. As algae blooms die and decay, toxins are released. Unsafe toxin levels can remain in the water even after the bloom is gone.
Given the continued observation of existing and new algae blooms, the risk advisory remains in effect. The municipality will advise residents of a change in status regarding the risk advisory or any related beach closures.
To learn more about algae blooms, visit https://www.halifax.ca/about-halifax/energy-environment/harmful-algae-blooms.
Source : Media Release