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Weather Conditions Favourable for The Formation of Blue-Green Algae Blooms

July 15, 2015 – The Water Security Agency and the Saskatchewan Ministry of Health are advising the public of the potential for the formation of blue-green algae blooms, also known as cyanobacteria, in water bodies across the province.

Blue-Green AlgaeThere have been some reports of blue-green algae blooms forming in certain areas and residents are asked to avoid direct contact and any intended or unintended consumption of any surface water where blooms are occurring. Pet owners and livestock producers are also advised to keep their animals away from such water.

Blue-green algae blooms commonly occur during calm, hot weather in lakes and reservoirs with shallow, slow moving or still water that has sufficient nutrients. The blooms can last up to three weeks and can be pushed around the lake or reservoir by the wind.

Blue-green algae blooms are heavy concentrations of these algae, which often give the water a shimmering, foamy and often pea soup appearance. The blooms may be blue-green, bright blue, grey or tan in colour. The recent warm temperatures in Saskatchewan may result in the quick formation of algae blooms.

Blue-Green Algae

Direct contact or unintended consumption of algae-contaminated water can cause red skin, sore throat, cramps, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.  In addition, caution should be taken when considering the consumption of fish or shellfish caught in areas of a water body where a bloom exists; the internal organs of the fish should not be eaten.

If you have health-related questions about blue-green algae, please contact your local health region office.

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Patrick Boyle
Water Security Agency
Moose Jaw
Patrick.Boyle@wsask.ca
Phone: (306) 694-8914

Tyler McMurchy
Health
Regina
Phone: (306) 787-4083