PG Area Lakes Under Blue-Green Algae Advisory
Prince George, B.C. – Northern Health has issued a public health advisory for several lakes in the Prince George area.
It’s due to a blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) bloom that’s been identified in areas of Bednesti/Berman, Nulki and West lakes.
The health authority says blue-green algae are naturally occurring and appear like scum, grass clippings, fuzz or globs on the surface of water.
The algae can be blue-green, greenish-brown, brown, and/or pinkish red and often smells musty or grassy.
People living in the area of these lakes as well as visitors using them are asked to take the following precautions:
- Avoid all contact with blue-green algae blooms. If contact occurs, wash with tap water as soon as possible.
- Do not swim or wade (including animals) in any areas where blue-green algae is visible.
- You can safely consume fish fillets from these lakes but you are advised to limit your consumption of whole fish or trimmings as fish may store toxins in organs such as the brain, liver and intestines. Pets should also avoid eating whole fish and trimmings.
- As always, visitors and residents are reminded to never drink or cook with untreated water directly from any lake at any time. Boiling water will not remove the toxins produced by blue-green algae. A different source of water should also be found for pets or livestock while the advisory is in effect.
Those who do come into contact with visible blue-green algae or accidently ingest some may experience skin irritation, rash, sore throat, sore red eyes, swollen lips, fever, nausea and vomiting and or diarrhea.
Symptoms usually appear within one to three hours and resolve within one to two days. Symptoms in children are often more pronounced.
Northern Health says the advisory will remain in effect until further notice. If you suspect a problem related to blue-green algae you’re asked to call Environmental Health at 250-565-2150.
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