The City of Halifax is warning residents of a possible blue-green algae bloom in Lake Micmac in Dartmouth.
“Residents are encouraged to avoid swimming in the lake until further notice,” says a Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) news release.
The off-leash dog area in Shubie Park by the lake will also be closed to swimming.
Blue-green algae, or cyanobacteria, is a natural freshwater algae. During the summer, it grows rapidly and extensively, also known as a bloom.
The risk advisory is issued because some types of the algae can produce toxins that are harmful to people and pets.
“As algae blooms die and decay, toxins are released,” says the release. “Unsafe toxin levels can remain in the water even after the bloom is gone.”
Lake Micmac users are encouraged to avoid going in the water until further notice. If they touched the water, they’re asked to wash with tap water as soon as possible.
People are also advised to not swim or wade, or let their pets swim or wade, as well as to not consume water or fish from the lake.
Consequences of coming in contact or ingesting blue-green algae may include “skin irritation, rash, sore throat, sore red eyes, swollen lips, fever, nausea and vomiting and/or diarrhea,” according to the release.
It also says children and immune-compromised individuals are at a higher risk of experiencing these symptoms.
The release says the algae bloom will be tested to determine if it is toxin producing. If it’s not, the advisory will be lifted.