Northern Health reminds public on blue-green algae safety following sightings on Charlie Lake

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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – With sightings of blue-green algae on Charlie Lake, Northern Health would like to remind the public on how to stay protected from this toxin.

Northern Health Environmental Officer, Justin Gu, says as for the current status of water quality, the Health Agency no longer conducts water testing for northern lakes as the tests prove to be ineffective and that most lakes contain blue-green algae this time of year.

“We stopped testing for blue-green algae in the lakes in the north because often it’s been proven not that effective and accurate, and at this time of the season, especially up in the north, we just assume that all the lakes contain blue-green algae.”

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While Northern Health no longer does testing for blue-green algae, Gu says it is important for humans and pets to avoid making contact with it as it is very toxic both externally and internally.

According to Gu, it is highly recommended not to use water that contains the algae for consumption as even if you were to boil it, the toxins would only increase.

If you come in contact with or consume water that contains blue-green algae, you must seek medical treatment immediately as it can be deadly within a matter of time.

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More information and safety tips on blue-green algae can be found on Northern Health’s website.

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