Kinsmen Beach on Lake Scugog has been closed – possibly until the late fall – due to levels of toxins from blue-green algae that is present in the water.
According to the Durham Region Health Department, test results from water samples taken by the Province on Aug. 5 indicate that toxins are at levels that exceed Health Canada’s recommended guidelines for recreational water.
“As these test results indicate elevated levels of toxins in the water, Kinsmen Beach has been closed and beach closure signs have been posted in the area – these signs will remain in place until late fall,” said Laura Freeland, manager of health protection with the health department.
“It’s not uncommon for lakes and rivers to experience blue-green algae blooms at this time of year, as blooms are typically seen during mid to late summer and can continue into early fall. Blue-green algae can also occur as a result of an increase in water temperature.”
Residents are reminded not to use the lake as a source of drinking water and to also be cautious around blue-green algae as some can produce toxins which may be harmful to humans who drink, fish or bathe in the water.
“Blue-green algae are microscopic, plant-like organisms that occur naturally in ponds, rivers, lakes and streams. The algae are often blue-green in colour, but can also be olive-green or red. People can protect themselves and their pets from blue-green algae blooms by not swimming or playing in areas where water is discoloured, or where foam, scum or mats of algae on the water’s surface are present,” reads a media release.
:Children and pets should not play in or drink water in areas where a beach advisory or beach closure is posted, and consuming fish from areas where mats of algae are present, or where a beach advisory or closure sign is posted, is also not advisable.”