The provincial government has issued an alert for blue-green algae, the first of the season for Nova Scotia.
Environment and Climate Change reported in a news release Saturday that a blue-green algae bloom was reported in a stream between Shubenacadie-Grand Lake and Fish Lake.
The algae produces toxins that can cause illness in humans and be fatal to pets, according to Elizabeth Kennedy, director of the water branch.
“We want to get the message out there that when people have a potential of touching or coming into contact with water that has blue-green algae in it, that they’re aware of the risks and that they’re going to keep their pets and family away from them,” Kennedy said.
The algae has occurred in all parts of the province, Kennedy said, and once it appears in a body of water it will bloom again when the conditions are right.
Kennedy said Nova Scotia is likely to see more and more blooms with increasing climate change and incidences of extreme heat and precipitation.
Shubenacadie-Grand Lake is a source of water for many Nova Scotians, Kennedy said, noting that people who draw their water directly from the lake should be especially careful.
“We want them to be especially aware of the risks of using surface water for their household water supply, their personal water supplies, and just encourage people to be aware of the risks there and to get advice from a professional on treatment requirements,” she said.
Kennedy said they want the public to report any algae blooms they see to one of the department’s local offices or by calling 1-877-936-8476.
Nova Scotia Environment and Climate Change has released a video to help the public identify blue-green algae blooms.