July 26, 2017
The Water Security Agency and the Saskatchewan Ministry of Health are advising the public of existing blue-green algae blooms and the potential for more to form across the province.
Blue-green algae blooms have been reported in some areas across Saskatchewan. Residents are asked to avoid direct contact and any consumption of any surface water where blooms are present. Blue-green algae blooms can be harmful for household pets and livestock, residents and producers are advised to keep their animals away from these areas.
Blue-green algae blooms are a regular occurrence in some parts of Saskatchewan during warm summer temperatures. Typically, blue-green algae blooms form in shallow, slow moving water. These blooms can last around three weeks and move around water bodies as wind and wave action dictates.
The last number of years of high flows and flooding experienced in a number of areas across the province contributed more nutrients to water bodies which combined with warm weather help the formation of blue-green algae blooms.
Blue-green algae blooms often give the water a shimmering, foamy appearance with blue-green, bright blue, grey or tan in colouration. The recent warm temperatures in Saskatchewan may result in the quick formation of algae blooms.
Direct contact or unintended consumption of algae-contaminated water can cause red skin, sore throat, cramps, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. In addition, caution should be taken when considering the consumption of fish or shellfish caught in areas of a water body where a bloom exists; the internal organs of the fish should not be eaten.
If you have health-related questions about blue-green algae, please contact your local health region office.
For more information, contact:
Water Security Agency
Phone: (306) 694-8914
Phone: (306) 787-4083