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Algae at Elk-Beaver lakes prompts CRD to issue health advisory

This photo, reported to have been taken at Elk Lake, shows blooms of blue-green algae in the water. The Capital Regional District is testing the waters at the park to see if there are any health risks for people or their pets. - Courtesy of user Food_and_Fun via Reddit
This photo, reported to have been taken at Elk Lake, shows blooms of blue-green algae in the water. The Capital Regional District is testing the waters at the park to see if there are any health risks for people or their pets.
— image credit: Courtesy of user Food_and_Fun via Reddit

The Capital Regional District is warning park users at Beaver and Elk lakes to keep their pets out of the water after pockets of blue-green algae have popped up along the shore.

The CRD Friday morning confirmed the presence of the toxic algae.

Larisa Hutcheson, the CRD's acting general manager for parks and community services, said signs notifying users of the algae will be posted around the park.

Blooms of blue-green algae, also known as pond scum, appeared on Elk Lake in winter 2009 and 2011. According to Health Canada, blue-green algae usually forms in "shallow, warm, slow-moving or still water."

Human health concerns regarding ingested blue-green algae include headaches, fever, diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting.

Health Canada says animals can get extremely sick or die, as a result of ingesting blue-green algae.

For the most up-to-date water quality advisories for CRD lakes, visit crd.bc.ca/parks/index.htm.

kslavin@saanichnews.com

 

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