Alix Lake under blue-green algae advisory

A small blue-green algae bloom was found on the southern portion of Alix Lake this past week. Lake users are asked to exercise caution when using the lake for recreational purposes, and avoid any contact with blue-green algae. Alix Lake plays host to a variety of summer recreational activities, including watercross, pictured here. (Ashli Barrett/Lacombe Globe) Ashli Barrett / Ashli Barrett/Lacombe Globe

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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 the southern portion of the lake.

Warnings have been posted on the Village of Alix website, as well as by the lake and campground area. According to Alix CAO Michelle White, no remedial action is currently being taken at this time, but Alix Lake is part of the Alberta Lake Management Society.

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 hours 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.

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