Environment / Water Quality

Blue-Green Algae

If you spot blue-green algae, take a cautious approach, as some varieties of this algae can produce toxins that are harmful to both humans and animals. If you suspect a blue-green algal bloom:

  • assume toxins are present
  • avoid using, drinking, bathing or swimming in the water (call your local health unit for swimming advisories)
  • restrict pet and livestock access to the water

Who to contact:

If you spot blue-green algal blooms, call the Spills Action Centre:

For information on health risks associated with blue-green algal blooms, please contact the Timiskaming Health Unit at 705-647-4305.

Prevention

  • Take these simple steps to prevent the growth of blue-green algae:
  • use phosphate-free detergents, personal care and household cleaning products
  • avoid using fertilizers on lawns, especially fertilizers that contain phosphorus (please refer to By-law No. 13-17, restricting the use of pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers on any lot within the Township of Coleman that abuts a water body or shore, along a railroad and Hydro One Easements.)
  • maintain a natural shoreline on lake and riverfront properties
  • reduce agricultural runoff by planting or maintaining vegetation along waterways and minimizing fertilizer use
  • check septic systems to ensure they do not leak into the water source

Resources:

For additional information on Blue Green Algae: