Why you should avoid water with blue-green algae blooms

June 10, 2024
Blue-green algae blooms - which are in fact microscopic bacteria called cyanobacteria - like this one start appearing in the warmer spring and summer months.

Algae are a natural part of our water ecosystems in the Interior Health region.

Blue-green algae are also found in our ecosystems like lakes. But unlike its name implies, blue-green algae are actually a microscopic bacteria called cyanobacteria.

Cyanobacteria can live in waters through winter. In the warmer spring and summer months, cyanobacteria can multiply very quickly and produce several types of toxins that can be poisonous to people, pets and livestock.

“It’s that time of year when we can see increased blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) blooms on lakes. These blooms tend to stay on the water surface and may have a leafy scent,” says Interior Health chief deputy medical health officer Dr. Silvina Mema. “Sometimes blooms can be toxic for those who come in contact with the water. My advice is to use common sense and avoid contact or consuming water if you suspect there is a cyanobacteria bloom.”

Stories@IH

Read our latest stories

3 Minute Read
Community & Culture

Since moving to the Interior in 2013, Nicole has been exploring all the beauty and terrain the land has to offer with her dog Sage and partner Aaron.

3 Minute Read
Health & Wellness

Learn what you can do to ensure you and your family remain safe and healthy this summer.

5 Minute Read
Health & Wellness

Older adults and seniors are vulnerable to abuse, and those in the 2SLGBTQIA+ communities are even more so. Learn why and what help is available.

2 Minute Read
Community & Culture

Kelsey Arnouse is passionate about working with people on their journey to Indigenous cultural safety.

5 Minute Read
Community & Culture

Cheryl is a peer volunteer with IH helping and supporting others who use substances. Read her story and learn about her art project in honour of those in need.

3 Minute Read
Health & Wellness

Learn how to stay safe in B.C. waters when blue-green algae blooms, or cyanobacteria, are present.

STAY CONNECTED

Receive news and alert posts, and Stories@IH blog posts, right to your inbox!

mail