The recent warm temperatures in the province may result in the quick formation of algae blooms.
The Water Security Agency and the Saskatchewan Ministry of Health are advising the public to avoid direct contact and any consumption of any surface water where blue-green algae blooms are occurring. Blue-green algae blooms can be harmful for household pets and livestock. Residents and producers are advised to keep their animals away from these areas.
Algae blooms are heavy concentrations of blue-green algae, which often give the water a shimmering, foamy and often pea soup appearance. The blooms may be blue-green, bright blue, grey or tan in colour.
Algae blooms commonly occur during calm, hot weather in areas of lakes and reservoirs with shallow, slow moving or still water that has sufficient nutrients. The blooms can last up to three weeks and can be pushed around the lake or reservoir by the wind.
Direct contact or consumption of algae-contaminated water can cause red skin, sore throat, cramps, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. In addition, caution should be taken when considering the consumption of fish or shellfish caught in areas of a water body where a bloom exists; the internal organs of the fish should not be eaten.
If you have health symptoms, call Healthline 811 or contact your health care provider.
What Precautions Should Be Taken When an Algae Bloom is Present?
– Avoid contact with water where a swimming advisory is in effect.
– Avoid water with algae blooms or scum even if there is no swimming advisory.
– If you are in contact with a bloom, you should shower as soon as possible.
– Wash any clothing or material that has contacted the bloom.
– Do not let children or pets swim in or drink water where there are visible algae.
– Do not allow livestock into areas with visible algae.
– Do not water ski in water with blue-green algae.
– Do not irrigate your lawn or garden with water that has blue-green algae.
– If you are experiencing health effects from contact with blue-green algae, seek medical attention.