Blue-green algae warning issued for Chip Lake

Alberta Health Services has issued a blue-green algae advisory for Chip Lake, located about 130 kilometres west of the city.

A cyanobacteria bloom has been detected in the Edmonton-area Lake, AHS said in a health advisory issued on Thursday.

Chip Lake is among five Edmonton-area lakes currently under a blue-green algae advisory.

Naturally occurring blue-green algae appears like scum, grass clippings, fuzz or globs on the surface of water, AHS said. It can appear green, blue, brown or even shades of pink and often has a musty smell.

People who come in contact with blue-green algae can experience skin irritation, rash, sore throat, sore red eyes, swollen lips, fever, vomiting and diarrhea.

Symptoms usually appear within one to three hours and resolve in one to two days.

Visitors to the lake are being advised to take precautions. Avoid all contact with blue-green algae and do not swim or wade where the algae is visible.

People may safely eat fish fillets, but should limit eating whole fish or fish trimmings. Pets should not be fed any fish from the lake, AHS said.

Boiling water will not remove the toxins produced by blue-green algae, and alternate sources of drinking water should always be provided for pets and livestock, AHS said.

The advisory for Chip Lake will remain in place until further notice.

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