Alberta Health Services has issued a blue-green algae bloom advisory for Moose Lake.
The blooms, also known as cyanobacteria, often form naturally and often become visible when weather conditions are warm and calm. Appearing like scum, grass clippings, fuzz or globs on the surface of the water, blue-green algae can be blue-green, greenish-brown, brown, or pinkish-red, and often smell musty or grassy.
If a person or an animal touches or ingests water that’s been contaminated by these blooms, it can lead to skin irritation, a rash, a sore throat, sore red eyes, swollen lips, fever, nausea and diarrhoea.
Symptoms can be especially more pronounced in children but can affect anyone. Usually, they’ll appear within three hours of coming into contact, and dissipate within a few days.
Residents and visitors of Moose Lake are asked to take precautions to avoid the sickness from these blooms. Do not swim or wade in any areas where blue-green algae blooms are visible.
Do not feed whole fish or fish trimmings from this lake to your pets, and consider limiting human consumption of whole fish and fish trimmings from this lake, as it is known that fish may store toxins in their liver. People can safely consume fish fillets from this lake.
People should also never drink or cook with untreated water directly from any recreational body of water, including Moose Lake, at any time. The boiling of this water will not remove the toxins produced by blue-green algae.
An alternate source of drinking water should also be provided for pets and livestock, while this advisory at Moose Lake is active, the AHS says.
If someone has come in contact with the algae, they should wash up immediately. If they’re experiencing health concerns, they can call HealthLink 811 for next steps.
Due to the fact that blue-green algae blooms can be pushed around the lake via the wind, the advisory is in effect for the entirety of Moose Lake and will be in effect until further notice.