Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Update: ‘Low levels of harmful toxins’ found in algae bloom

Recent laboratory analysis of water samples taken from McGregor Creek in Chatham has confirmed a blue-green algae bloom, which appears to have expanded into the Thames River.

Municipal officials say further analysis of water samples from McGregor Creek has revealed low levels of harmful toxins.

“At this time, continue to avoid contact with the algae bloom, as toxin levels may change depending on algae present and environmental conditions,” Municipal officials said in a media release.

“Toxins that may be present in algae blooms can have adverse health impacts. This may include irritated eyes, itchy skin, headaches, fever, diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting.”

Municipal officials say to protect yourself, avoid activities that increase the chance of exposure:

– Do not drink, bathe, or shower in untreated surface water

– Do not allow children, pets, or livestock to drink or swim in the water

– Do not cook with or boil the water

– Be cautious about eating fish caught where blue-green algae blooms occur

– Do not treat the water with a disinfectant like chlorine (bleach)

Contact CK Public Health at 519-355-1071 or see the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Conservation, and Parks website for more information.

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