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Toxic algae bloom prompts water warning in View Royal lake

Capital Regional District also warns to keep pets away from Prior Lake
Blue-green algae blooms can be harmful to humans and pets. (Black Press Media file photo)

A bloom of blue-green algae at Prior Lake in Thetis Lake Regional Park prompted a warning to stay out of the water.

Blue-green algae can produce cyanotoxins which can be harmful to humans and pets, so the Capital Regional District and Island Health have issued a no-swim advisory, also telling people to keep dogs leashed around the lake to prevent them from drinking the water, or swimming.

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The algae was detected at Prior Lake, but both Upper and Lower Thetis Lakes are clear.

Cyanotoxins can cause skin rashes and irritation. If ingested it can cause headaches, nausea and fever.

Algae naturally occurs in fresh and salt water, and is not typically harmful, but its blooms increase the concentration of toxins produced. Blooms are often visible as a blue-ish or green-ish sludge on the water.

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About the Author: Goldstream News Gazette Staff

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