Blue-green algae warning issued for Pigeon Lake, popular recreational area

Blooms of the algae, also known as cyanobacteria, have been identified on parts of the popular swimming spot 100 kilometres southwest of Edmonton. Seek medical attention if any of the following symptoms occur: nausea, vomiting or diarrhea; skin, eye or throat irritation or allergic reactions or breathing difficulties. Swim beaches will be open from 11 a.m.to 6 p.m. Saturday at both the Lake Temescal and Quarry Lakes regional recreation areas. If contact occurs, wash with tap water as soon as possible.

AHS stresses that areas where the blooms are not visible can still be used for recreational purposes. Some had detectable algae, but they did not produce toxic chemicals that can harm swimmers and pets. It appears in grassy or musty smelling clumps that look like scum, grass clippings or globs on the water’s surface.

The lack of wind coupled with strong sun and very little run off of fresh rain has not allowed much mixing of the lake waters. Fish fillets, however, are safe for human consumption.

Home and cottage owners who use lake water as a source for drinking water should be aware that most small treatment systems are unable to remove algal toxins.

A blue-green algae advisory has been issued for a lake south of Drayton Valley.