Residents and visitors in the East Dalhousie, Kings Co., area are advised not to swim in, or drink water from, Lake Torment because of a possible blue-green algae bloom.
“While the risk is low, avoiding contact with the water is a simple precaution to prevent the potential health risks of some blue-green algae,” said Gary O’Toole, director of environmental health at the Department of Health and Wellness.
Blue-green algae blooms are naturally occurring and can produce toxins. People should not drink the water or use it to prepare or cook food, or to brush teeth. Boiling the water will not eliminate potential toxins.
People who have ingested water containing toxins from blue-green algae may experience stomach ache, diarrhea, vomiting and nausea. Recreational use of the water, bathing and showering is also not advised. Direct contact with toxins from the algae can cause skin and eye irritation. If symptoms persist after a few days, consult a health-care provider.
Pets and other animals should not be permitted to drink or swim in the water.
More information is available at www.gov.ns.ca/nse/water/docs/BlueGreenAlgae.pdf .