The Regional Municipality of Durham


News Release

Health Department investigating presence of blue-green algae in Wagner's Lake in Uxbridge

WHITBY, ON July 27, 2017 - Durham Region Health Department has followed up on an inquiry made to the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change regarding the presence of blue-green algae in Wagner’s Lake in Uxbridge. Laboratory tests results from water samples for toxin levels in the algal blooms are pending. As a precaution, a public advisory has been issued for Wagner’s Lake and residents are reminded not to use the lake as a source of drinking water.

Blue-green algae are microscopic, plant-like organisms that occur naturally in ponds, rivers, lakes and streams, and although often blue-green in colour, the algae can also be olive-green or red.

“This is the second occurrence of blue-green algae that has been found in Durham Region for this season,” said Laura Freeland, Manager, Environmental Health with the Health Department. “As the summer progresses and weather conditions vary, there may be other occurrences across the Region. We’re advising residents to 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.”

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. Children or pets should not play in or drink water in areas where a beach advisory posted. 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 call the Environmental Help Line at 905-723-3818 or 1-888-777-9613.

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Media inquiries:

Regional Municipality of Durham:

Glendene Collins - Health Department, 905-668-7711 ext. 2999, 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.