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Health unit: Water safe if blue-green algae not visible

By: Sudbury Northern Life Staff

 | Aug 09, 2014 - 10:42 AM |
The Sudbury and District Health Unit is reminding bathers that if no algal bloom is visible, the water may be used for regular recreational activities, including swimming.

When a bloom is spotted, it is best to avoid swimming, drinking the water and allowing pets into the water.

Blue-green algae has an unsightly pea soup appearance and a foul smell. It can produce toxins, which can irritate a person’s skin and, if ingested, cause diarrhea and vomiting.

Currently, signage is posted in Greater Sudbury at Main, Canoe Club, Amphitheatre and Moonlight beaches on Ramsey Lake.

These signs will stay in place until the end of the bathing season to advise bathers that blue-green algae was sighted earlier this season.

“Because blue-green algae blooms are not anchored, they can move from one location to another through wind and water action,” said Cindy Rocca, a manager in the Health Unit’s Environmental Health Division.

“New blooms can also form, and all bathers at public beaches and residents on lakes or rivers should look for blooms and avoid the water when they are visible.”

For more information about beach water tests results, please call the Sudbury & District Health Unit at 705.522.9200, ext. 398, or toll-free at 1.866.522.9200 or visit the Health Unit’s website at www.sdhu.com.

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