Risk advisory in effect for Lake Banook after possible algae bloom

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Birch Cove Beach in Dartmouth on Lake Banook is shown in this file photo. There is currently a risk advisory for the lake due to a possible blue-green algae bloom. (Paul Palmeter/CBC - image credit)
Birch Cove Beach in Dartmouth on Lake Banook is shown in this file photo. There is currently a risk advisory for the lake due to a possible blue-green algae bloom. (Paul Palmeter/CBC - image credit)

Swimmers are being asked to avoid Dartmouth's popular Lake Banook due to a possible blue-green algae bloom.

A release from the Halifax Regional Municipality Sunday afternoon announced a risk advisory was in effect for Birch Cove Beach, and people were asked to avoid swimming there until further notice.

City staff are currently investigating whether or not it is a toxin-producing algae, the release said.

Blue-green algae naturally occurs in freshwater environments and can multiply rapidly during the summer, leading to extensive growth called a bloom. Some types of this algae produce toxins during blooms and those toxins may leak into the water when the bloom fades, the release said.

Lake users are urged to take the following precautions:

  • Avoid water contact. If contact occurs, wash with tap water as soon as possible

  • Do not swim or wade (or allow your pets to swim or wade) in the water

  • Avoid consuming water from this lake

  • Avoid consuming fish that has come from this lake

People who come in contact with the algae or who drink water containing it may experience skin irritation, rash, sore throat, sore red eyes, swollen lips, fever, nausea and vomiting, or diarrhea. Anyone with these symptoms should seek medical help.

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