Blue-green algae found in Lake Major water supply

Blue-green algae has been found at the Lake Major water supply, which provides water for over 100,000 customers in HRM. Alicia Draus / Global News

Halifax Water says its water is safe to drink despite finding blue-green algae in the Lake Major water supply.

Blue-green algae has been found in Lake Banook and Lake Micmac several times over the past few years, prompting the municipality to issue warnings advising residents to stay out of the water.

Read more: Albro Lake Beach closed for swimming after Halifax detects high bacteria count

Under the right conditions when the water is warm enough, blue-green algae can form blooms that sometimes release toxins which can be dangerous to both humans and animals.

While toxins have been confirmed in Lake Micmac last year and this year, James Campbell with Halifax Water says that is not the case with the blue-green algae in Lake Major.

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“I can tell you that the water supply we have doesn’t have any toxic forms of blue-green algae whatsoever,” he said.

“We have an ongoing detection program for blue-green algae, we’ve never had a toxic form of blue-green algae.”

Campbell says they put out a notice to assure residents that while blue-green algae has occasionally shut down beaches in the area it is not currently having any effect on drinking water.

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Lake Major supplies water to about 100,000 residents in Dartmouth, Cole Harbour, Eastern Passage, North Preston, Westphal and Burnside.

Halifax Water is working with Nova Scotia’s Environment Department and Department of Public Health to continue to monitor the water supply and make sure that it is safe for consumption.

If there are any issues the public will be alerted as soon as possible.


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