By Jenn Watt
The Coalition of Haliburton Property Owners Associations is asking lakefront property owners to check their lakes for blue-green algae after several suspected blooms were found in the county.
The blooms have not yet been confirmed as blue-green algae, plant-like organisms which can render water dangerous to drink or swim in, but CHA chair Paul MacInnes said he wants residents to be on the lookout.
“Given the number of recent suspected blue-green algal blooms in the county, we encourage all lakefront property owners to act out of an abundance of caution,” he said in an email.
He advised residents to take the following steps: be on the lookout for potential blooms in the lake; if you see one, report it; tell your lake association and your neighbours; do not let anyone, including pets drink water from the lake if a suspected bloom is present.
The following information is from the CHA. More can be found at https://www.cohpoa.org/lake-health-3/algae-and-algal-blooms
What is it? Info from MOECP
Blue-green algae are microscopic, plant-like organisms that occur naturally in ponds, rivers, lakes and streams.
Although often blue-green, they can also be olive-green or red.
How to recognize it
Blue-green algae are not normally visible in the water, but populations can rapidly increase to form a large mass or scum called a bloom when conditions are favourable.
Blooms most commonly occur in late summer and early fall. They thrive in areas where the water is shallow, slow moving and warm, but they may be present in deeper, cooler water.
Dense blue-green algae blooms may make the water look bluish-green, or like green pea soup or turquoise paint. Very dense blooms may form solid-looking clumps.
Fresh blooms often smell like newly mown grass, while older blooms may smell like rotting garbage.