Blue-green algae spotted in Conestogo Lake reservoir: GRCA

The Grand River Conservation Authority has issued a warning that blue-green algae has been seen in the reservoir at Conestogo Lake.

It says that while the beach area and boat launch have both been closed for the season, the Ministry of the Environment has been notified and signage has been posted.

This is not the first time that the harmful algae has been spotted in the area as the agency previously announced that blooms had been discovered in both Belwood Lake and Woolwich Reservoir back at the beginning of September.

The GRCA says that precautions should be taken when blue-green algae is present including keeping children and pets away and avoiding contact.

It also says not to eat fish or drink water from the lake or swim on the lake, when the algae is seen or when scum is spotted along the shoreline.

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The algae is known to feast upon nutrients from fields and lawns during heavy rainfalls and spring melts that cause it to multiply rapidly, forming blooms or scum on the surface.

Some forms of blue-green algae have also produced toxins which can harm people and pets.

“When an algal bloom starts to grow, a noticeable green or brown scum will form on the surface of water bodies and the water look like green or bluish-green pea soup,” a release from the GRCA noted. “Once blue-green algae are in full bloom, it may look like spilled ‘paint’ along the shoreline.

“A new blue-green algal bloom often smells like fresh cut grass, while an older bloom can smell like rotting garbage.”

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