EDMONTON – Another lake near Edmonton has been added to the growing list of lakes overrun by blue-green algae.
On Tuesday Alberta Health Services issued a blue-green algae advisory for Hastings Lake, located southeast of Edmonton in Strathcona County.
Hastings Lake is one of two dozen Alberta lakes containing the toxic blue-green algae. Others include Wizard Lake, Pigeon Lake, Pine Lake, Lac Ste. Anne and Coal Lake. To see a full list, visit Alberta Health Service’s Health Advisories website.
The algae can range in colour from olive-green to red.
It can produce a toxin which can cause serious illness to animals or humans who drink or come into contact with it.
Symptoms of coming into contact with blue-green algae may include:
- skin irritation
- sore throat
- sore red eyes
- swollen lips
- vomiting and/or diarrhea.
Symptoms usually appear within one to three hours, and go away in one to two days. However, long term consumption can lead to more serious illnesses, such as liver damage.
People are advised to take the following precautions against blue-green algae:
- Do not drink water directly from (or allow your pets to) from this lake – boiling the contaminated water won’t remove toxins.
- Do not swim or wade (or allow your pets to) in this lake.
- Avoid contact with blue-green algae along the shoreline.
- Do not feed whole fish or fish trimmings from this lake to your pets.
- People may wish to limit their own consumption of whole fish and fish trimmings from this lake, as fish may store toxins in their liver.
- People can safely consume fish fillets from this lake.
You can learn more about blue-green algae below:
© Shaw Media, 2014