Blue-green algae confirmed on Ramsey Lake
Sudbury Health Unit says beware of blooms on beaches
The Sudbury and District Health Unit has confirmed that samples taken from Ramsey Lake earlier this week have tested positive for blue green algae.
According to a Health Unit press release, blue-green algal blooms have an unsightly pea soup appearance and foul smell, and can produce toxins.
Residents should avoid using or drinking water from areas where blooms are visible.
"Though the bloom is presently not located near the David Street water treatment plant intake, the Health Unit has been informed by the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change that the plant has an effective barrier to all algae and can reduce the levels of algae toxins found in raw water," Burgess Hawkins, a manager in the SDHU's environmental health division said.
"This means that the municipal drinking water supply is protected."
The highest concentrations of toxins are usually found in blooms and scum on the shoreline, the SDHU said.
These dense accumulations pose the greatest potential risks to people and pets. The algae toxins can irritate a person's skin and, if ingested, cause diarrhea and vomiting. If a person ingests high levels of toxin, they could suffer liver and nervous system damage.
The SDHU said its signs will also remain in place on the following Ramsey Lake beaches:
- New Canoe Club,
- Bell Grove,
- and Moonlight.
The signs advise the public to avoid swimming and allowing pets into the water if the algal blooms are present at the beaches. If no blooms are present, the water can be used for regular recreational activities.