In addition to the Pefferlaw River, a bloom of blue-green algae has been confirmed in Wagner Lake.
According to a media release, the Durham Region Health Department was notified by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks of the visual presence of a blue-green algae bloom.
“As of Oct. 22, the blue-green algal bloom in Wagner Lake had dissipated. However, water samples collected by the MECP from an isolated pocket of algae in the north end of the lake was confirmed to be a blue-green algae bloom,” reads a media release.
Additional reports of a confirmed blue-green algal bloom in tributary waters north of Wagner Lake were also reported to the health department. The bloom was last reported as entering Lake Simcoe at the mouth of the Pefferlaw River.
“It is possible that blue-green algal blooms will be observed elsewhere in streams and lakes at this time of year,” the media release reads.
Blue-green algae are microscopic, plant-like organisms that occur naturally in ponds, rivers, lakes and streams, and although often blue-green in color, the algae can also be olive-green or red.
The public are advised to be cautious around blue-green algae as some blooms can produce toxins which may be harmful to humans and their pets.
“Residents who draw water from near-shore wells or directly from affected water bodies are advised not to drink the water for the duration of the bloom and for two weeks after the bloom dissipates, as home water treatment systems may not be able to remove toxins,” the media release reads.
“An alternate source of potable drinking water is recommended. People and pets should not swim or play in areas where water appears discolored or where foam, scum or mats of algae are present on the water’s surface. Consuming fish from affected areas is also not advisable.”