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CRD warns of blue green algae at Elk/Beaver Lake Park

Users of Elk/Beaver Lake Regional Park are being warned to stay out of the water – and keep pets away, too – after the presence of blue green algae was confirmed in the water this week.

The water tests were conducted earlier this week near the Brookleigh boat launch, at the north end of Elk Lake, where a visible blue-green sheen was noticed.

Blooms of blue-green algae, also known as pond scum, appeared on Elk Lake in winter 2009 and 2011, and in January 2013. 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.

kslavin@saanichnews.com

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