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News Release

Blue-green algae still present at Kinsmen Beach

Levels of toxins higher than in the summer

WHITBY, ON October 11, 2017 - Durham Region Health Department has received results for water samples taken from the Kinsmen Beach area of Lake Scugog which indicate that, blue-green algae toxins are still present in the water and that the toxins are at higher levels than earlier in the summer. Water samples were taken on Sept. 20 by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change.

“Although it’s no longer beach season, the Health Department has posted “Do Not Enter” signs at the beach,” said Laura Freeland, Manager, Environmental Health with the Health Department. “These signs will remain in place for the next few weeks.

“It’s not uncommon for lakes and rivers to experience blue-green algae blooms at this time of year, as  blooms are typically seen during late summer and early fall. Blue-green algae can also occur as a result of an increase in water temperature.”

Residents are reminded not to use the lake as a source of drinking water and to also be cautious around blue-green algae as some can produce toxins which may be harmful to humans who drink, fish or bathe in the water. 

Blue-green algae are microscopic, plant-like organisms that occur naturally in ponds, rivers, lakes and streams. The algae are often blue-green in colour, but can also be olive-green or red. People can protect themselves and their pets from blue-green algae blooms by not swimming or playing in areas where water is discoloured, or where foam, scum or mats of algae on the water’s surface are present. Also, children and pets should not play in or drink water in areas where a beach advisory is posted, and consuming fish from areas where mats of algae are present, or where a swimming advisory is posted, is also not advisable.

For more information about blue-green algae, please visit durham.ca or call the Environmental Help Line at 905-723-3818 or 1-888-777-9613.

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Media inquiries:
The Regional Municipality of Durham
Glendene Collins - Health Department, 905-668-7711 ext. 2999 or glendene.collins@durham.ca.

If this information is required in an accessible format, please call 1-800-841-2729 ext. 3094.

For more information, please contact Health Department.