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UPDATE: Algal bloom near Grand Bend Yacht Club is not blue-green algae

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Journal staff

An algae bloom detected in the Ausable River/Parkhill Creek near the Grand Bend Yacht Club earlier this week is not blue-green algae, officials say.

The confirmation came after testing by the Ministry of Environment, Conservation, and Parks (MECP), Lambton Public Health (LPH) said Friday.

“MECP is conducting further analysis on this algal bloom to determine if algal toxins are presen,” a news release noted. “Results of this analysis will be communicated as soon as they become available.”

Until test results are received, Lambton Public Health is advising the public to continue taking the following precautions:

  • Do not use the water and keep animals out of the water. This includes drinking, cooking, bathing, swimming and other water sports, and brushing teeth. Note: using a private water system or boiling the water will NOT destroy the toxins;
  • Boating is allowed, where permitted, but boaters and recreational users should avoid touching algae;
  • If skin contact does occur, wash with soap and water and then rinse thoroughly with clean water to remove algae;
  • Symptoms following contact or consuming toxins from a harmful algae bloom can include irritation of the skin, eyes, nose, throat, or lungs, stomach pain, headaches, diarrhea, vomiting and in severe cases, liver damage. Symptoms can be more serious if water is swallowed in large quantities. If you begin experiencing symptoms, please contact your healthcare provider.
  • Limit the amount of fish flesh you eat. Some toxins can build up in fish and shellfish. Do not eat the liver, kidneys, and other organs. Be careful not to cut the organs when filleting.

As a precaution, warning signs remain posted at Grand Bend South Beach. For further details on the location of the algae bloom and the sampling process, please contact the MECP Spills Action Centre at 1-800-268-6060. Additional information about harmful algae is available at the MECP’s website or by calling LPH at 519-383-8331 or 1-800-667-1839.

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