ALGAE ALERT - Three Mile Bend has been placed under a blue-green algae alert. Express file photo

Algae advisory for Red Deer dog park

Three Mile Bend Recreation Area affected

A blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) bloom has been identified in a pond at the Three Mile Bend off-leash dog park.

On Aug. 30th, City staff observed a red/milky/murky looking substance in one of the water ponds on the west side of Three Mile Bend Recreation Area. Red Deer’s Environmental Services department sent samples of the water for testing, and the results are anticipated to show positive results for cyanobacteria, otherwise known as blue-green algae. As a result, The City has placed a blue-green algae advisory in place for Three Mile Bend.

Signs have been posted in the area advising residents to avoid human or animal contact with any visible algal bloom. Pet owners are asked to be especially vigilant in inspecting the water and shoreline before allowing their pets to enter the water.

The Blue Green Algae Advisory will remain in place until a rescind notice is issued. While the advisory is in place residents should take the following precautions – avoid all contact with algal blooms. If contact occurs, wash with clean water as soon as possible. Do not swim or wade (or allow your pets to swim or wade) in any areas where algae is visible. Do not feed whole fish or fish trimmings from this pond to your pets. Consider limiting human consumption of whole fish and fish trimmings from the pond, as it is known that fish may store toxins in their liver. (People can safely consume fish fillets from this pond). As always, never drink or cook with untreated water directly from any pond or lake, including Three Mile Bend, at any time. Boiling pond or lake water will not remove the toxins produced by blue-green algae (cyanobacteria). An alternate source of drinking water should be provided for pets while this advisory is active.

“The park and water bodies at Three Mile Bend are safe for the public and pets as long as you avoid direct contact with any algal bloom,” said Ken Lehman, Ecological Services Operations coordinator. “The City of Red Deer is working closely with Alberta Health Services and Alberta Environmental and Sustainable Resources to manage the algal bloom and mitigate any negative effects to the Three Mile Bend Recreation Area.”

Blue-green algae forms in water that is shallow, warm and slow-moving or still. It grows mostly in summer months and can contain the cyanobacterial toxins, which are poisonous.

For more information about blue-green algae, including health risks associated with exposure, visit https://myhealth.alberta.ca/Alerts/pages/alberta-health-advisories.aspx. To report an algae bloom in the City, contact Red Deer’s Environmental Services Department at (403) 342-8750.

– Fawcett

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