Blue-green algae can cause health issues in humans and animals if ingested. The Capital Regional District has issued an alert for a bloom in Wrigglesworth Lake northwest of Tunnel Hill on the Malahat. (Photo courtesy Dorothy Chambers)

Blue-green algae can cause health issues in humans and animals if ingested. The Capital Regional District has issued an alert for a bloom in Wrigglesworth Lake northwest of Tunnel Hill on the Malahat. (Photo courtesy Dorothy Chambers)

Toxic algae bloom at Wrigglesworth Lake near Malahat, CRD reports

Authorities urge people and their animals to avoid the water until declared safe

The Capital Regional District has reported a blue-green algae bloom at Wrigglesworth Lake located northwest of the Malahat and Tunnel Hill.

Some algae species are known to produce cyanotoxins, which can cause detrimental health effects in humans and other animals. Ingesting water contaminated with these toxins could cause a range of symptoms, from headaches to abdominal pains in humans, to lethal liver damage in dogs.

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The algae typically produce a visible blue-green sheen on the surface of the water. But not all blooms are easy to see – and toxins could still be present even if the water appears safe.

In consultation with Island Health, the CRD advises park visitors to avoid swimming in the lake until the advisory has been lifted. Owners should also keep animals on a leash to prevent them from drinking or swimming in the water.


@AustinEastphal
austin.westphal@saanichnews.com

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