A blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) bloom has been identified at Bower Ponds and at McKenzie Trails.
Red Deer’s Environmental Services department sent samples of the water for testing on August 9th and the results are anticipated to come back positive for the cyanobacteria, otherwise known as blue-green algae. As a result, the City has placed a blue-green algae advisory for Bower Ponds and McKenzie Trails due to the public’s popular use of these areas.
Signs have been posted in both areas 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 Bower Ponds and McKenzie Trails, 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.
“With the extended periods of hot and dry weather, it is not surprising that water bodies within Red Deer are experiencing blooms of blue-green algae. The City of Red Deer works closely with Alberta Health Services when these situations arise. We remind all park users that these water bodies remain safe to use as long as citizens and pets avoid areas which have visible algae and that they do not drink untreated water,” said Trevor Poth, parks superintendent.
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.
If you suspect a problem related to blue-green algae or if you require further information on health concerns and blue-green algae, please call Health Link at 811. Additional information is also available online at www.ahs.ca/bga.
To report a blue-green algae bloom in the city, please contact The City’s Environmental Services Department at (403) 342-8750.
-Submitted by the City of Red Deer