Toxicology results have confirmed low levels of microcystin-LR in the eastern leg of Sturgeon Lake. The good news is that the toxin levels were very low – in fact, they were lower than the acceptable level for this toxin in drinking water. (Note: This doesn’t mean that the lake water is safe to drink!)
The upshot is that the presence of a potentially toxic blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) species has been confirmed, and a low level of the associated toxin has also been confirmed. The water remains cloudy, and therefore the the precautionary warning will remain in effect until further notice. Environmental inspectors are examining the local waters regularly, and the Health Unit will lift the warning only after they feel that the algae bloom has subsided. No further toxicology testing is planned at this time.
The regional Health Unit has no evidence of increased illness or health impact from the recent algae bloom. The Health Unit warns that the blue-green algae may continue to pose a health risk. Drinking the lake water is not advised, and please note that simple skin contact with this algae may result in rashes, swollen lips, and other symptoms.
Please continue to exercise caution when considering whether to swim in the lake in the coming days.