Beach at Christie Lake closed due to possible presence of blue-green algae
The beach and swimming area at Christie Lake Conservation Area is now closed to swimmers and animals due to the possible presence of blue-green algae in the water.
Cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) is a group of aquatic organisms where some species produce microcystins which are a toxic human health hazard.
Adverse health effects are mainly caused by drinking the water that is contaminated with blue-green algae toxins. People who come into contact with visible 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.
Blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) forms in shallow, warm, slow-moving or still waters.
Temperature fluctuations (i.e. increased water temperature), high nutrient loads, water mixing, slow-moving or still waters, provide the ideal environment for the proliferation of naturally occurring blue-green algae.
Algae/vegetation in the water can give off an offensive odour as it dies and decays. This may be more prominent along the shoreline
Testing has been carried out by the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks. Their staff collected samples from several shoreline locations, which has been sent to their lab for testing to determine the species of algae and if toxins are present
For more information on blue-green algae, please visit the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks’ website at http://www.ontario.ca/environment-and-energy/bluegreen-algae