If part of your weekend involves going swimming in a Saskatchewan lake, the ministry of Health and the Water Security Agency are warning of blue-green algae blooms.
Algae blooms, or heavy concentrations of blue-green algae, commonly occur during calm, hot weather in areas of lakes and reservoirs with shallow, slow moving or still water that has sufficient nutrients. Pet owners and livestock producers are also advised to keep their animals away from such water.
Algae blooms often give the water a shimmering, foamy pea soup appearance. They are usually blue-green, bright blue, grey or tan in colour. The recent warm temperatures in the province may result in the quick formation of algal blooms.
The blooms typically last up to three weeks and can be pushed around the lake or reservoir by the wind.
Swimming in or drinking this algae-contaminated water can cause red skin, sore throat, cramps or diarrhea. In addition, caution should be taken when considering the consumption of fish or shellfish caught in areas of a water body where a bloom exists; in particular the internal organs of the fish should not be eaten.