Alix Lake is once again officially under a blue-green algae bloom advisory.
The advisory went into effect on Friday, July 6, as per Alberta Health Services (AHS), after blooms – also known as cyanobacteria – were identified in parts of the lake.
Blue-green algae, which can be scum-like, or appear as grass clippings, fuzz or globs on the surface of the water, is naturally occurring. It often becomes visible when weather conditions are calm, and can be blue-green, greenish-brown, brown, or even pinkish-red in colour, and smell musty or grassy.
Visitors to the lake, and residents near the shores, are advised to avoid all contact with the algae, forego swimming or wading in areas where it is visible, and limiting consumption of fish from the lake.
Pet owners are cautioned to keep them out of the water, and to not let them eat fish from the lake, or drink its water. Alternate drinking sources should be provided, as boiling does not remove the toxins produced by blue-green algae.
Areas where blue-green algae is not visible can be used for recreational purposes while the advisory is in effect.
Those who come in contact with visible blue-green algae, or who ingest the algae may experience skin irritation, rashes, sore throat and/or red eyes, swollen lips, fever, nausea and vomiting and/or diarrhea. Those symptoms usually appear within one to three hourse and resolve in one to two days.
While symptoms are often more pronounced in children, all humans are at risk.
Those suspecting problems related to blue-green algae, or wanting more information on health concerns and blue-green algae are asked to call Health Link at 811, or visit AHS online at www.ahs.ca/bga.