**** ENVIRONMENT/CLIMATE CHANGE Release
Blue-Green Algae Confirmed in Shubenacadie-Grand Lake
Testing has confirmed the presence of blue-green algae at Shubenacadie-Grand Lake consistent with levels that are dangerous to dogs. Testing has found that pesticides and other contaminants were below detectable levels.
As a result, the Department of Environment and Climate Change is issuing a blue-green algae advisory for Shubenacadie-Grand Lake. People should not drink or cook with the water at any time, as the risk of blue-green algae may always be present in the warm months. It is safest not to swim or boat in the lake. People who choose to swim or boat in the lake should watch for blue-green algae and be aware of the potential risks.
This advisory will continue through the summer. Once blue-green algae has appeared in a lake once, it is more likely to appear again. It’s important to be cautious.
Blue-green algae can appear at any time, particularly in warm water or water with a lot of nutrients, and blooms are appearing more frequently in Nova Scotia as a result of climate change and hotter weather in summer and fall. Anyone who sees a blue-green algae bloom should contact one of the department’s regional offices.
Homeowners should not consume water from Shubenacadie-Grand Lake, or any other lake or river, as the water quality is subject to change and may be impacted by natural and man-made contaminants. Residential treatment systems typically are not capable of removing the toxins produced by blue-green algae. If you use surface water for drinking water, consult a water quality specialist to determine whether your treatment system will remove blue-green algae toxins.
Any homeowner who has questions about their well-water quality or well construction should have their well water tested, or contact a certified well contractor to inspect their well.
Some area residents have raised concerns about the nearby Oakfield Golf and Country Club. Staff have visited the golf course to check how pesticides are being handled and stored. The department has not found any concerns related to pesticide use or storage at the golf course, or any non-compliance issue involving the facility.
List of accredited labs where homeowners can have their water tested: http://novascotia.ca/nse/water/waterlabs.asp
Information on blue-green algae: http://novascotia.ca/nse/environmental-health/blue-green-algae.asp
Information on wells: http://novascotia.ca/nse/water/privatewells.asp and http://novascotia.ca/nse/water/wellcontractors.asp