Blue-green algae warning issued for three area reservoirs
WATERLOO REGION — Precaution is being urged at three local reservoirs due to the presence of blue-green algae.
The Grand River Conservation Authority warned that the potentially sickening algae was spotted at the Conestogo, Belwood, and Woolwich reservoirs.
“Our beaches get pretty quiet at this time of year,” spokesperson Cam Linwood said Friday. “There’s still some boating activity out there.”
Boating is allowed where permitted, but boaters and recreational users should avoid touching the algae because it may contain a toxin called microcystin that can cause illness when ingested by people or animals.
The authority says park visitors, recreational users, and cottagers surrounding these reservoirs should take precautions: don’t swim in the reservoir, keep children and pets away from the algae, avoid contact with the algae, don’t eat fish from the lake and don’t use water for drinking or any other purpose.
Algae blooms are natural and common, tending to occur during hot, dry weather.
Those weather conditions are expected to persist through September, which means favourable conditions for the development of further blue-green algae blooms in the reservoirs for the remainder of the season. Other conservation areas in the province have also had blue-green algae.