Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit Barrie Office
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Blue-green algae may be present in Three Mile Lake

Aug 01, 2018
Township of Muskoka Lakes— Residents around Three Mile Lake are being cautioned about a potential blue-green algae bloom by the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit.

Township of Muskoka Lakes— Residents around Three Mile Lake are being cautioned about a potential blue-green algae bloom by the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit.

The bloom has not been confirmed by testing. The Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks will be collecting water samples this week to analyze and test for the presence of blue-green algae. Because wind and water currents can change the location of algae blooms, which may make the water look bluish-green, or like green pea soup or turquoise paint, the caution is being issued around the entire lake.

Exposure to blue-green algae, whether for drinking, swimming, bathing, cooking or through eating fish caught from the lake, can result in illness. Affected residents are being asked not to use the water for drinking or food preparation, including breastmilk substitute (infant formula).

Swimming and other water sport activities should also be avoided in areas where the blue-green algae bloom is visible.

Some varieties of blue-green algae are capable of producing toxins that can be harmful to humans and animals. Boiling the water will not destroy the toxins, and home treatment systems should not be relied on.

Adverse health effects are mainly caused by drinking or coming into water that is contaminated with blue-green algae toxins. Symptoms from consuming toxins can include headaches, fever, diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, and can be more serious if water is swallowed in large quantities.

To learn more about blue-green algae visit the health unit website at www.simcoemuskokahealth.org, or call Health Connection weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 705-721-7520 or 1-877-721-7520.

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