Representing The Brandy Lake Association

News Release from Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit

Please find below the release posted by the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit regarding blue green algae on the lake.

Blue-green algae confirmed in the west end of Brandy Lake, Township of Muskoka Lakes

Sep 12, 2019

Township of Muskoka Lakes — The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) has been advised by the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) that laboratory tests have confirmed the presence of a blue-green algae bloom in the west end of Brandy Lake, Township of Muskoka Lakes.

Township of Muskoka Lakes — The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) has been advised by the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) that laboratory tests have confirmed the presence of a blue-green algae bloom in the west end of Brandy Lake, Township of Muskoka Lakes.

Wind and water currents can change the location of algae blooms, which may make the water look bluish-green, or like green pea soup or turquoise paint. Swimming and other water sport activities should also be avoided in areas where a blue-green algae bloom is visible.

The health unit is advising residents around the west end of Brandy Lake, to avoid using the lake water for drinking or food preparation, including breastmilk substitute (infant formula). Boiling the water will not destroy the toxins, and home treatment systems should not be relied on.

Exposure to blue-green algae, whether for drinking, swimming, cooking or through eating fish caught from the west end of Brandy Lake may result in illness. Adverse health effects are mainly caused by drinking water that is contaminated with blue-green algae toxins. Symptoms from consuming toxins can include headaches, fever, diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, and can be more serious if water is swallowed in large quantities.

SMDHU and the MECP will continue to monitor the lake and updates will be posted on the health unit’s website at www.smdhu.org/algae.

To learn more about blue-green algae visit the health unit website at www.simcoemuskokahealth.org, or call Health Connection weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 705-721-7520 or 1-877-721-7520.

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What We Know

The Brandy Lake Association has been in contact with both the Simcoe Muskoka Health Unit (SMHU) and the Ontario Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP).  The following points summarize what we can confirm about the recent sampling;

  • The sample was taken on or around September 6th in the West Bay of Brandy Lake.
  • The first test has confirmed that blue green algae was present in the lake that day.
  • There has been no confirmation that the algae sampled is toxic; a second test of the sample must be completed to confirm this, and this information is not yet available.  
  • The second set of test results have not been released, and the Association is actively following up on the results.

Algae Identification Guide

Please find attached to this email a very helpful guide on algae and how to identify it.  Hard copies are available from the Brandy Lake Association, and digital copies can downloaded from www.muskokawatershed.org

More Information will Follow…

The Brandy Lake Association will continue to follow up on this issue, and would like to reassure the members that blue green algae is not expected to re-occur on our lake on a regular basis.