Blue-green al­gae warn­ing is­sued for three area reser­voirs

Waterloo Region Record - - LOCAL - Jo­hanna Wei­d­ner, Record staff jwei­d­ner@there­cord.com, Twit­ter: @Wei­d­nerRecord

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.

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