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Suspected Algal Bloom Near Selkirk Found Not to Pose a Significant Health Risk

SIMCOE, AUGUST 11, 2014– What was suspected to be blue-green algae off the shores of Selkirk has been confirmed to be a type of non-hazardous filamentous green algae. After a sample containing the algae was taken for identification and testing, results have revealed that the suspected bloom does not pose a significant health risk. The sample results indicated a very low level of the cyanobacterial toxin, microcystin, and the levels found were almost ten times lower than the maximum limit of 1.5 parts per billion set out by the Ontario Drinking Water Standards.

“Considering the situation in the southwestern part of Lake Erie where algal blooms caused a drinking water ban in Toledo, we want the public to be aware of the possibility of blue-green algae showing up in our area,” notes Kris Lutzi, Sr. Public Health Inspector for the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit. “People should know what blue-green algae looks like so they can take precautions to avoid it,” adds Lutzi.

The Haldimand-Norfolk continues to monitor the situation in the southwestern areas of Lake Erie and advises people suspecting a blue-green algae bloom to contact the Ministry of Environment’s Spills Action Centre at 1-800-268-6060. For more information visit the Health Canada website.


Media contact:

Kris Lutzi, BHS, BASc, CPHI (C)
Sr. Public Health Inspector, Environmental Health Team
12 Gilbertson Dr., Simcoe, ON N3Y 4L1
Phone: 519-426-6170 ext. 3261
Fax:  519-426-9974
E-mail:  [email protected]