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Moncton area urged to conserve water, mitigate high risk of blue-green algae bloom in reservoir

Click to play video: 'Moncton area urged to conserve water, mitigate high risk of blue-green algae bloom in reservoir'
Moncton area urged to conserve water, mitigate high risk of blue-green algae bloom in reservoir
WATCH: People in greater Moncton are being asked to stop all non-essential water use due to a high risk for blue-green algae in one of its reservoirs. The city says the water supply remains safe for cooking, drinking or bathing -- but that could change. Callum Smith reports – Aug 12, 2020

Residents in the Moncton area are being urged to reduce water consumption to mitigate the “high risk” of a blue-green algae bloom in the local water reservoir.

The City of Moncton is issuing the advisory to residents in Moncton, Dieppe and Riverview as a result of the blue-green algae risk in the Tower Road reservoir, which supplies water to the Turtle Creek reservoir, which has served as the three cities’ primary drinking water supply since 1962.

“At this time, the water remains safe for drinking, as well as bathing, washing and cooking. We all hope to keep it this way, which is why all non-essential water-related activities should be stopped until further notice,” said Jack MacDonald, general manager of engineering and environment for the City of Moncton.

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“Protecting our potable water source is a community responsibility, and our collective actions can have a positive impact in this situation.”

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Water conservation will help reduce the risk of a blue-green algae bloom. When the water is warm enough and the right conditions are reached, blue-green algae bloom can sometimes release toxins that can be dangerous to both humans and animals.

Click to play video: 'Water warning after pet dies from suspected blue-green algae exposure in Alberta'
Water warning after pet dies from suspected blue-green algae exposure in Alberta

It’s a simple equation, according to the City of Moncton. More water in the reservoir means that the water will stay cooler and fewer nutrients will be available to feed the algae.

Weather in the region has been unusually dry this year, the City of Moncton said in a press release, and reservoir levels are currently four to six weeks “ahead of schedule.”

That means the current levels of water in the reservoir are typically reached in September when a rainy fall season is set to arrive. It also puts the water temperatures at the reservoir approximately 4 C warmer than the average temperature.

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That’s why water conservation is expected to reduce the severity of a bloom if it does occur.

Some examples of non-essential/wasteful water use include washing vehicles, watering lawns, running tap water while brushing teeth or shaving, washing only partial loads of laundry and dishes, and hosing down a driveway.

Water testing at both reservoirs will continue and the residents will be notified if water quality deteriorates.

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