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GRCA Confirms Algae Bloom at Conestogo Lake

Web posted on August 02, 2017

Samples collected by the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) on July 20 at Conestogo Lake reservoir were analysed and final results confirm levels of microcystin toxins in the samples were well below the recreation guideline of 20 parts per billion.

Based on these results, while the risk to recreational users of the reservoir in areas where no algae is visible is low, the Grand River Conservation Authority advises that users should continue to avoid any algae mats on the shoreline as well as algae `scum' floating in the water.

Current weather conditions are ideal for the formation of blue-green algae and reservoir users should be aware that blooms may appear at any time.

In the event a blue-green algae bloom is suspected, call the Spills Action Centre at 416-325-3000 or 1-800-268-6060.

If you have health concern after using the reservoir, such as a skin rash, contact Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health at 1-800-265-7293 ext.4753.

Algae blooms are a natural phenomenon. They tend to occur during hot, dry weather. Algae feed on phosphorous, a chemical found naturally in soil as well as in manure, fertilizers and human waste. When the algae die, the toxin is released in the water where it naturally breaks down in about five to seven days.

Conestogo Lake is a 735 ha reservoir on the Conestogo River. It was completed in 1958 for flood protection and to provide water to maintain flows downstream during dry weather.

The reservoir is very active with numerous water sports and activities. There is a beach located within Conestogo Lake Park and many cottages surround the reservoir.

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