Blue-Green Algae Advisory at Pigeon Lake

CTV News ran this video story on July 30, 2012:

The text of the same story is here:

Julia Parrish, CTV Edmonton
Published Friday, Jul. 27, 2012 8:35PM MDT

Alberta Health Services officials have issued a blue-green algae advisory for a lake located south west of Edmonton.

On Friday, officials said testing of the waters in Pigeon Lake had shown toxins related to blue-green algae were present.

As a result, residents and visitors to the lake are asked to take the following precautions:

  • Not drink water, or allow pets to drink water from the lake
  • Not swim or wade, or allow pets to swim or wade in the lake
  • Avoid contact with any blue-green algae deposits washed up on shore

The algae produces a toxin that can lead to serious illness to animals or humans who come in contact with or drink the water – and boiling contaminated water does not remove the toxin.

Officials also said consumption of fish from the lake should be limited.

In the past, AHS officials have advised residents and visitors to not eat any fish from contaminated lakes – however, recently, experts have said there is little evidence to support the warning that fish could be contaminated.

An expert panel is currently studying the effect the algae may have on the fish; results are expected by the end of the summer, at the earliest.

Officials also said the toxin is present in the water, even if a bloom isn’t visible – it’s not an indication that the algae in the lake has cleared up.

Anyone who comes into contact with the algae, or drinks water containing blue-green algae could experience the following symptoms – which can appear within three hours of exposure, and resolve in one to two days:

  • Skin irritation
  • Rash
  • Sore throat
  • Sore red eyes
  • Swollen lips
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting and/or diarrhea

This is the third lake in north central Alberta to be the subject of a blue-green algae advisory in northern and central Alberta. The toxin has been found in Hasse Lake, Lac Ste. Anne and Mcleod Lake.

Anyone who suspects a health problem related to blue-green algae, or for more information on the algae, is encouraged to call Health Link Alberta at 1-866-408-LINK (5465).

Read more:

SLWSS has warned that blue-green algae infestation will occur at Sylvan Lake unless new developments are effectively quarantined.

See the new SLWSS video for a representative dramatization.

Watch this website to see the impact of Pigeon Lake water quality on the value of surrounding recreational properties.

For a larger reminder about our SLWSS 2010 imaginary warning for Sylvan Lake, click on this photo:


Here’s another “Cumulative Effects Mis-Management” graphic of a Pigeon Lake-like future for our own highly valued Sylvan Lake natural asset. We are just a pallet or two of fertilizer nutrients away from duplicating the Pigeon Lake experience.

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