An advisory has been issued Friday from the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit that a blue-green algae has been detected in Callander Bay on Lake Nipissing. The municipal water supply is not affected as the plant is equipped to remove the toxin.
The bloom may expand and move to affect the entire bay depending on the weather and natural flow of the water body. The water treatment plant has a routine toxin monitoring program in place and it has been successful.
According to the Health Unit, residents and visitors near these areas need to take the following precautions immediately:
- If you use a private water system, do not use water from the lake for drinking, cooking and bathing. Boiling the water or using home water treatment devices WILL NOT destroy the toxins.
- Avoid swimming or other water activities that could increase the risk of toxins contacting your skin or being swallowed.
- Some toxins build up in the tissues of fish and shellfish, particularly in the guts and other organs including the liver, kidney, etc. We do not know if the toxins in fish are a concern. It depends on how much you eat and how severe the bloom is. Be careful if you eat fish caught in water where blooms occur. Do not eat the liver, kidneys and other organs of fish caught. Do not cut the organs when filleting.
Toxins can persist in water bodies for a long time, even when a bloom has disappeared. For this reason, the Health Unit and the District Office of the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change cannot confirm when the water is safe to use for private water systems.
The geographic location of the sample is latitude 46.207704, longitude -79.387460.
You can find out more about blue-green algae at myhealthunit.ca or call the Health Unit at 705-474-1400, ext. 2400 or 1-800-563-2808.