Risk advisory in effect for Lake Micmac due to possible blue-green algae bloom

Blue green algae
File/Global News

A risk advisory is in effect for Lake Micmac in Dartmouth due to the presence of a possible blue-green algae bloom, Halifax Regional Municipality says.

Residents are encouraged to avoid swimming in the lake until further notice, HRM said.

The off-leash dog area of Shubie Park at Lake Micmac will also be closed to swimming.

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“Blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) is naturally occurring in freshwater environments and may become visible when weather conditions are calm. These organisms can multiply rapidly during the summer, leading to extensive growth called a bloom,” said HRM in a press release. 

“Some types of blue-green algae produce toxins during blooms, and when these blooms decay, the toxins may be released into the water, posing a risk to people and pets.” 

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Lake users are encouraged to take the following precautions:

  • Avoid water contact. If contact occurs, wash with tap water as soon as possible.
  • Do not swim or wade (or allow your pets to swim or wade) in any areas where blue-green algae is visible or in areas where a risk advisory has been issued.
  • Avoid consuming water from this lake.
  • Avoid consuming fish that has come from this lake.

People who come in contact with blue-green algae or who ingest water containing blue-green algae may experience skin irritation, rash, sore throat, sore red eyes, swollen lips, fever, nausea and vomiting and/or diarrhea.

Children and immune-compromised individuals are at a higher risk. 

The risk advisory will remain in effect until blooms have disappeared and post-bloom test results indicate water is within safe limits.