New Brunswick

Blue-green algae closes Moncton's Irishtown reservoir

The City of Moncton has closed the Irishtown Nature Park reservoir to recreational use, due to the presence of a potentially toxic algae.

Water 'off limits' to recreation due to health concerns over potentially toxic algae

The City of Moncton has closed the Irishtown Nature Park reservoir to recreational use, due to the presence of a potentially toxic algae.

Coming into contact with blue-green algae, or ingesting it, can cause everything from skin and eye irritations, to headaches, diarrhea and vomiting. (CBC File Photo)
"Due to warm temperatures, blue-green algae are collecting along the banks of the reservoir therefore the water is off limits to recreation," the city said in a statement on Friday.

"Kayaking and canoeing is suspended at this time. Pet owners are asked to keep their dogs out of the water and not to let them drink or swim in the water at this time," the statement said.

The Moncton reservoir is the latest in a growing list of bodies of water across the province containing blue-green algae.

The bacterial organisms, also known as cyanobacteria, can produce toxins that can be harmful to human health and fatal to pets and livestock.

Accidentally ingesting the contaminated water while swimming or during other recreational activities can result in headaches, fever, sore throat, dizziness, stomach cramps, nausea, diarrhea and vomiting, officials say. These symptoms can last for several days.

Swimming in water containing the toxin can cause skin, eye and throat irritation.

Children, immuno-compromised individuals and animals are considered most at risk for severe effects.

Moncton officials will continue to monitor the situation and advise of any change in conditions.

In the meantime, the Department of Health has posted public advisory signs along the trails and all access points to the water.

The Irishtown reservoir has had ongoing problems with algae blooms in recent years.

The department has also issued blue-green algae advisories for at least seven lakes, including:

  • Washademoak Lake
  • Harvey Lake
  • Chamcook Lake
  • Lake Utopia
  • Lac Baker
  • Lac Unique

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