Home Health Public Health Prior Lake algae bloom: people & pets to avoid swimming there

Prior Lake algae bloom: people & pets to avoid swimming there

Algae bloom can pose a serious health risk.

Tuesday August 3, 2021 | VICTORIA, BC

by Jalen Codrington | Island Social Trends

Be aware of the blue-green algae bloom at Prior Lake within Thetis Lake Regional Park, says a public service advisory from the Capital Regional District (CRD) today.

In consultation with Island Health, the CRD has today advised visitors to the heavily trafficked park to avoid swimming at Prior Lake, and to keep any pets from swimming in or drinking the water until the advisory has been lifted.

About algae bloom:

Blue-green algae, a form of cyanobacteria, can produce cyanotoxins. Exposure to these toxins can produce fever, headaches, muscle pain, vomiting, stomach cramps, and allergic reactions in humans. Symptoms can begin anywhere from a few minutes to a several days after exposure. In dogs, the poisoning can lead to fatal liver damage.

Prior Lake, just north of the main Thetis Lake (Google Maps)

Blue-green algae blooms typically produce a a visible greenish sheen that appears as surface scum, like a thick pea soup. Very dense blooms may form clumps. However, toxins may still be present in the water even in the absence of visual indicators.

Algae blooms usually occur as a result of a combination of available nutrients, sunlight, temperature, water levels, and water chemistry. However, the combination of factors is not well understood at this time, making bloom predictions difficult.

Advisory updates:

According to the CRD, blue-green algae has not been detected at Upper or Lower Thetis Lake at this time.

Visit the CRD’s alerts page or the Prior Lake Advisory page, and watch Twitter for updates on the status of this summertime algae bloom.

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Thetis Lake Park – map [CRD]
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