Gateway Gazette

Blue-green algae advisory issued for Severn Creek Reservoir

CALGARY – Blue-green algae are currently present in the waters of Severn Creek Reservoir. Residents living near this reservoir, as well as visitors to this reservoir, are advised to take the following precautions:

  • DO NOT DRINK WATER directly from, or allow your pets to drink water directly from, this reservoir. Boiling this contaminated reservoir water will not remove toxins. Provide an alternative source of drinking water for pets and livestock.
  • DO NOT SWIM OR WADE or allow your pets to swim or wade in this reservoir.
  • AVOID CONTACT with blue-green algae along the shoreline.
  • DO NOT feed whole fish or fish trimmings from this reservoir to your pets.
  • People may wish to limit their own consumption of whole fish and fish trimmings from this reservoir, as it is known that fish may store toxins in their liver.
  • People can safely consume fish fillets from this reservoir.

Blue-green algae can produce a toxin (poison) that can cause serious illness to animals or humans who drink or have skin contact with water containing this toxin. Although weather and wind conditions can cause algae blooms to move from one location in the reservoir to another, the toxin can stay in the water even after algae have moved or disappeared.

As such, this advisory will remain in effect until further notice.

People who come in contact with or ingest water containing toxic blue-green algae may experience skin irritation, rash, sore throat, sore red eyes, swollen lips, fever, nausea and vomiting and/or diarrhea. Symptoms usually appear within one to three hours and resolve in one to two days. Symptoms in children are often more pronounced because they spend more time in the water and are more likely to accidentally ingest contaminated water. People who consume contaminated water as a primary source for drinking water can develop more serious illnesses, such as liver damage, over time.

If you suspect a problem related to blue-green algae, or if you require further information on blue-green algae, please call Health Link Alberta at 1-866-408-5465 (LINK).

For a list of other areas of Alberta affected by this algae click here.

alberta-health-services-ahs-logoAlberta Health Services is the provincial health authority responsible for planning and delivering health supports and services for more than four million adults and children living in Alberta. Its mission is to provide a patient-focused, quality health system that is accessible and sustainable for all Albertans.

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