A blue-green algae bloom has been identified within the ice covering Minnie Lake, AHS said Friday morning.
A bloom of cyanobacteria was found in the lake which is 31 kilometres west of Bonnyville in the M.D.
The toxins produced by blue-green algae are expected to be present in the water below the ice until it fully melts.
Until further notice, residents living near the shores as well as visitors to this lake, are advised to take the following precautions as they begin seasonal activities at Minnie Lake:
- Never drink or cook with untreated water directly from any recreational body of water, including Minnie Lake, at any time. Boiling of this water will not remove the toxins produced by blue-green algae. An alternate source of drinking water should also be provided for pets and livestock, while this advisory is active.
- Avoid all contact with blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) 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 (cyanobacteria) is visible.
- Do not feed whole fish or fish trimmings from this lake to your pets.
- Consider limiting human consumption of whole fish and fish trimmings from this lake, as it is known that fish may store toxins in their liver. (People can safely consume fish fillets from this lake).
Blue-green algae is naturally occurring, and often becomes visible when weather conditions are calm. Appearing like scum, grass clippings, fuzz or globs on the surface of water, blue-green algae can be blue-green, greenish-brown, brown, and/or pinkish-red, and often smell musty or grassy.
People who come in contact with visible blue-green algae or who 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. Symptoms usually appear within one to three hours and resolve in one to two days. Symptoms in children are often more pronounced; however, all humans are at risk of these symptoms.
If you suspect a problem related to blue-green algae or if you require further information on health concerns and blue-green algae, please call Health Link at 811. Additional information is also available online, at www.ahs.ca/bga.
Alberta Health Services is the provincial health authority responsible for planning and delivering health supports and services for more than four million adults and children living in Alberta. Its mission is to provide a patient-focused, quality health system that is accessible and sustainable for all Albertans.