Closing Nepahwin Beach Since 2015
Nepahwin Lake has had late summer blue-green algae blooms annually in 2015 to 2018 inclusive. The City of Greater Sudbury website provides the following information about blue-green algae.
Blue-green algae are organisms that live in freshwater lakes around the world. Normally, they are barely visible but, under certain conditions, they can multiply to form a large mass called a bloom or a blush.
Most blooms or blushes contain plant species that are harmless; however, the presence of even one toxic species can pose a risk. Only laboratory tests can determine whether a bloom is toxic.
Causes of Blue-Green Algae
Blue-green algae blooms are well suited to lakes with high phosphorus and nitrogen levels.
Warming water temperatures can cause more frequent algae blooms.
Spreading of road salt does not cause blue-green algae blooms.
Recognizing Blue-Green Algae
Blooms usually look like bluish-green pea soup but can also be olive-green or red.
When the bloom is very large, algae may form solid-looking clumps floating on or just below the surface of the water.
Fresh blooms often smell like newly mown grass. Older blooms smell like rotting garbage.
Symptoms From Contact
Contact with toxins released from certain species of blue-green algae can result in:
itchy, irritated eyes and skin
headaches, fever, diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting if you swallow contaminated water
more serious health effects if contaminated water is consumed in large quantities.
Animals should be kept away from surface water sources during a bloom. Symptoms may range from lethargy and loss of appetite to seizures, vomiting and convulsions.
Who to contact if you suspect a blue green algae bloom:
At supervised beaches, you can speak to lifeguards who are all trained to spot a bloom and advise swimmers accordingly.
If you suspect a blue-green algae bloom, assume toxins are present. Avoid using the water and contact Public Health Sudbury & Districts at 705-522-9200 or the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks at 705-564-3218 during regular business hours.
How residents can help reduce the chance of blue green algae blooms:
Public Health Sudbury and Districts: https://www.phsd.ca/health-topics-programs/water/blue-green-algae-cyanobacteria/
City of Greater Sudbury: https://www.greatersudbury.ca/live/environment-and-sustainability1/lake-health/blue-green-algae