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Blue-green algae found at Belwood Lake

Park visitors are being asked to take the necessary precautions
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Blue green algae
File photo shows close up photo of blue green algae floating on a lake.

NEWS RELEASE
GRAND RIVER CONSERVATION AUTHORITY
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Observations by Grand River Conservation Authority staff this week have identified the presence of blue-green algae in the reservoir at Belwood Lake. 

Park visitors, recreational users and cottagers should be aware that blue-green algae are present in the reservoir and take necessary precautions, as follows:

  • Keep children and pets away from the algae
  • Avoid contact with the algae
  • Don’t eat fish from the lake
  • Don’t use the water for drinking or any other purpose
  • Boating is allowed, where permitted, but boaters and recreational users should avoid touching the algae
  • Don’t swim in the reservoir

The Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) and the Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health department have been notified of the observed presence of blue-green algae in the reservoir. MECP staff will be taking samples on Wednesday to confirm the presence of cyanobacteria.

What are blue-green algae?

Algal blooms are a natural phenomenon. Blue-green algae can accumulate in large mats or scums, known as blooms. These blooms commonly form in late summer or early fall in areas where water is slow moving and warm. 

Generally, algae that bloom in reservoirs are considered a nuisance. However, certain kinds of algae, like cyanobacteria (blue-green algae), if ingested, can cause illness in humans and animals.

Blue-green algae blooms often look like thick pea soup or large areas of spilled paint on the surface of the water. 

For more information about blue-green algae:

Visit the GRCA website at https://www.grandriver.ca/en/our-watershed/Algae.aspx
Read the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks fact sheet.

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