A batch of blue-green algae is blooming in the Twin Valley Reservoir.

Alberta Health Services issued a health advisory warning on Thursday, August 9, for residents and visitors to the area, to avoid all water that has visible blue-green algae on its surface.

This includes direct ingestion, wading or swimming in the water, or feeding whole fish to pets, as some fish may store toxins from the algae in their liver.

The algae is strikingly green in appearance, but may appear more pinkish or blue in colour and may appear in globs, or as a layer of film on the waters surface.

The algae usually appears when weather conditions are calm, and can often smell musty or grassy.

Contact with water infected by the algae, has been known to cause flu like symptoms such as fever, nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea and skin irritations and swellings.

Seniors and children may be at particular risk of symptoms, and Alberta Health recommends to be also watchful of pets and livestock, as they too can be harmed by the algae.

Note that areas of the Twin Valley Reservoir, where the algae is not visible, can still be used for swimming and fishing, even with the advisory in place.

 

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