Advertisement

Interior Health deems algae bloom on Wood Lake a low health risk to public

A close-up of an algae bloom on Wood Lake in the Central Okanagan. Global News

A gross-looking algae bloom on Wood Lake is being called a low-risk health hazard.

On Friday afternoon, Interior Health announced they were monitoring the large algae bloom, as were the District of Lake Country and the Regional District of the Central Okanagan.

“While the bloom contains blue-green algae, testing indicates the risk to the public remains low,” said Interior Health. “The water is considered safe for use.”

A photo of an algae bloom on Wood Lake in the Central Okanagan on May 12, 2021. Global News

The health agency says algae blooms naturally occur throughout B.C., and that blooms may vary in colour from blue, green, brown, yellow, orange to red and appear like foam, scum, mats on the surface or soup.

Story continues below advertisement

It also said some algae blooms may also smell unpleasant, and that algae blooms containing cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) may produce harmful toxins.

Read more: Province launches website to help identify algae blooms in B.C. lakes

Interior Health added that residents and visitors are reminded not to drink or cook using untreated water directly from lakes, ponds or wetlands due to the risk of waterborne illness.

“Boiling the water will not remove any toxins from blue-green algae blooms,” said Interior Health.

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
Water warning after pet dies from suspected blue-green algae exposure in Alberta – Jul 7, 2020

The health agency also said pets and livestock should be provided with an alternative source of drinking water where there are active algae blooms, as animals can be sensitive to toxins.

More information about algae blooms can be found at the Ministry of Environment and at HealthLinkBC.

Advertisement

Sponsored content