Health Unit issues advisory due to possible blue-green algal bloom at Laurentian University Beach on Lake Nepahwin

A possible blue-green algal bloom at Laurentian University Beach on Lake Nepahwin in the City of Greater Sudbury is currently being investigated by the Sudbury & District Health Unit and the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change.

The Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change is testing water samples to confirm the presence of blue-green algae.

As a precaution, the Health Unit has posted signs advising the public to avoid swimming, drinking the water, and allowing pets into the water if the algal bloom is present at the beaches. If no bloom is present, water can be used for regular recreational activities.

Blue-green algae could also appear in other parts of the lake. Because blooms are not anchored, they can move from one location to another through wind and water action. New blooms can also form. All residents on lakes or rivers should look for blooms in their area.

Blue-green algal blooms have an unsightly pea soup appearance and foul smell, and can produce toxins.

The highest concentrations of toxins are usually found in blooms and scum on the shoreline. These dense accumulations pose the greatest potential risks to people and pets. The algae toxins can irritate a person’s skin and, if ingested, cause diarrhea and vomiting. If a person ingests high levels of toxin, they could suffer liver and nervous system damage.

For more information, please call the Sudbury & District Health Unit at 705.522.9200, ext. 398 or visit www.sdhu.com.

This item was last modified on September 1, 2015