The Northwestern Health Unit has reported blue-green algae in the English River near Ear Falls.

Residents are advised to be cautious around the water as the bloom will not be sampled by the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks at this time. Some blue-green algae produce toxins that can pose a health risk to people and animals when they are exposed to them in large amounts.

When blue-green algae blooms are present, it is important to avoid drinking the water, swimming in it, and using it for bathing or other household purposes. Residential water treatment systems may not remove toxins and should not be relied on during a bloom event. Do not boil the water, as this can cause an increase in toxin levels. Municipally treated water supplies can be used normally unless you are notified otherwise.

People and pets should avoid contact with water that has been recently impacted by a blue-green algae bloom, is discoloured or has scum on the surface. If contact does occur, wash with soap and water or rinse thoroughly with clean water to remove algae. It is recommended to wait at least two weeks after the bloom has disappeared before resuming the normal use of lake waters.

If you spot a bloom, report it to the Spills Action Centre at 1-866-MOETIPS (6638477)