Point Edward, ON – Lambton Public Health (LPH) is advising that the Ministry of Environment, Conservation, and Parks (MECP) is investigating a possible blue-green algae bloom in the Ausable River, near the Grand Bend Yacht Club in Lambton Shores.
Samples were collected at the Grand Bend Yacht Club in the afternoon on October 3, 2023. The samples will be submitted to the ministry’s lab for Algal Identification and cyanotoxin analysis. The results will be provided by the MECP as soon as they become available.
Symptoms following contact or consuming toxins from a blue-green algae bloom can include irritation of the skin, eyes, nose, throat, or lungs, stomach pain, headaches, diarrhea, vomiting and in severe cases, liver damage. Symptoms can be more serious if water is swallowed in large quantities. If you begin experiencing symptoms, please contact your healthcare provider.
If you are near where a bloom was detected or where a bloom is visible, safety measures you can take include:
- Do not use the water and keep animals out of the water. This includes drinking, cooking, bathing, swimming and other water sports, and brushing teeth. Note: using a private water system or boiling the water will NOT destroy the toxins;
- If skin contact does occur, wash with soap and water and then rinse thoroughly with clean water to remove algae;
- Limit the amount of fish flesh you eat. Some toxins can build up in fish and shellfish. Do not eat the liver, kidneys, and other organs. Be careful not to cut the organs when filleting.
For further details on the location of the algae bloom and the sampling process, please contact the MECP Spills Action Centre at 1-800-268-6060.
Additional information about harmful algae is available at the MECP’s website or by calling LPH at 519-383-8331 or 1-800-667-1839.