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Stay away from blue-green algae at two County areas

BQRAP photo

Blue-green algae-BQRAP photo

Potentially harmful levels of blue-green algae have been observed in the water at Picton Harbour and on the north shore of Prince Edward County between Peats Point and Massassauga Point.

Blue-green algae can be harmful to animal and human health if ingested. It can also cause skin irritation following contact. Remnants of algae cells, which can cause rashes or mucous membrane irritation, or the toxins from a bloom may be present after the disappearance of a bloom.

“Blue-green algae are a natural occurrence and residents are reminded that it is best to avoid use of the water when the algae are present,” said Senior Public Health Inspector Andrew Landy. “It is important to note that municipal drinking water systems have not been affected.”

If you draw drinking water directly from this location or swim/fish/play in this water:
Use alternate sources of drinking water for both people and animals.
Do not use the water for cooking.
Avoid skin contact with water (swimming, bathing and showering).
Keep pets or livestock from entering the affected water.
Do not eat the liver, kidney or other internal organs of fish or shellfish from affected water.

Late summer and early fall are the prime season for algae blooms. Although the Bay of Quinte has not had a major bloom, so far, there have been several small outbreaks. These have been tested and a couple showed relatively high levels of toxic blue green algae.

BOQremedialactionplanSince 2010, Quinte Conservation has been working with Bay of Quinte Remedial Action Plan, the federal government, provincial government, local agencies and municipalities collecting water quality data in order to learn more about when, where and why blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) bloom and produce toxins.

Visit the Bay of Quinte RAP web site for more information and fact sheets on blue-green algae.

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