A close up image of the algae bloom in Shuswap Lake near Ashby Point taken on April 9. People and pets are warned to stay away from it and not drink the water. (Interior Health photo)

UPDATE: Algae bloom in Shuswap Lake determined to be non-toxic

Interior Health maintains people should not drink untreated water

Update: Friday, April 10, 9:30 a.m.

Testing has identified an algae bloom in Shuswap Lake to be non-toxic.

The approximately 30-metre wide bloom located southwest of Herald Provincial Park on Thursday, April 9, was initially suspected to have been cyanobacteria – commonly known as blue-green algae. According to a related media release by Interior Health and the Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD), cyanobacteria can produce chemicals that are poisonous if swallowed by people, pets or livestock.

In a subsequent April 9 release, the CSRD stated laboratory testing of samples taken from the algae bloom showed the substance to be non-toxic.

“Tests of two samples were returned to Interior Health and the CSRD on Thursday evening,” states the CSRD release. “Analysis of the samples determined the algae and organic matter is not cyanobacteria (blue-green algae). Therefore it poses no risk to the public.

“That being said, Interior Health advises against drinking untreated water from lakes, ponds or wetlands at any time.”

embed

Original story:

The public is being warned not to drink the water in Shuswap Lake southwest of Herald Provincial Park due to a suspected algae bloom.

The Columbia Shuswap Regional District has issued a news release stating that “effective immediately and until further notice, the public is advised not to drink water from the lake in the vicinity of the bloom site and should avoid touching the algae, which has partially washed up on shore near Ashby Point, southwest of Herald Park.”

Citizens are warned not to wade or swim in the area of the bloom and should prevent pets from ingesting any water or swimming nearby. They are also advised not to fish or consume fish caught in the area.

“The bloom, which is suspected to be Cyanobacteria (commonly known as blue-green algae), is a mass of approximately 30-metres wide.”

Testing is underway and it’s not known how long the area will be affected.

Read more: 2018 – Blue-green algae bloom leads to water warning in Salmon Arm Bay

Read more: Tappen area of Shuswap Lake shows high phosphorous and nitrogen levels

The warning points out that some blue-green algae blooms can produce chemicals that are poisonous if swallowed by people, pets or livestock. Blooms can cover the surface of the water and may look like thick pea soup. Not all blooms, however, are easy to see. Toxins can still be in the water even if you can not see the bloom.

“If ingested, symptoms of exposure to blue-green algae can include headaches, nausea, fever, sore throat, dizziness, stomach cramps, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle aches and blistering the mouth and lips. If you have been exposed to blue-green algae and have symptoms, you’re asked to contact your health care provider right away.”

More information can be found at the HealthLinkBC file No. 47 at this link.

If you have concerns, or wish to report possible algae bloom activity, contact the Report a Poacher or Polluter line (RAPP line) at 1-877-952-7277 (RAPP) or #7277 on the TELUS Mobility Network.



marthawickett@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Shuswap Lake

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

A map of the location of suspected algae in Shuswap Lake discovered on April 9. (Columbia Shuswap Regional District image)

A close up image of the algae bloom in Shuswap Lake near Ashby Point taken on April 9. People and pets are warned to stay away from it and not drink the water. (Interior Health photo)

Just Posted

Social justice advocate yells at Kelowna council, demands presence at Black Lives Matter rally

Heather Friesen has again taken to council chambers to make her opinion heard

RDCO closes section of Mission Creek due to high water levels

RDCO urges visitors to respect closure signs posted at these locations until waters recede

Easter Seals shifts to virtual camps due to COVID-19 restrictions

The Lake Country summer camp is for children and adults with disabilities

Kelowna firefighters train for a technical rescue Mission Creek

Four Kelowna Fire Department technical rescue teams were on the water on Monday

Kelowna RCMP investigate early morning fatal collision

The crash was discovered in the 3100-block of Bulman Road in Kelowna around 5:30 a.m. on June 1

VIDEO: A Vancouver Island black bear takes weekend nap in eagle tree

Videos captured by Terry Eissfeldt shows the bear arriving Saturday night and sleeping in on Sunday

High water levels on Shuswap Lake may close popular Canoe Beach

Rain forecast could flood entrance tunnel, city staff to evaluate

189 homes in Grand Forks area given evacuation orders

Homes are in the Nursery, Grand Forks Airport, Gilpin Rd., Johnson Flats and Granby Rd. areas

Summerland man rescued following ATV accident

Helicopters used to transport injured man to Kelowna for treatment

Vernon videographer captures thunderstorm

See the ‘best bits’ of Saturday’s storm

Dyer: I left my heart in the desert

Kristy Dyer is a columnist for Black Press Media who writes about the environment

Horoscopes for the week of June 1

Weekly horoscopes by Morgan Fava

George Floyd asphyxiated by sustained pressure: family autopsy

Death sparked a wave of protests across the U.S. and abroad

Most Read