Due to an algae bloom, Wood Lake water is not safe for drinking, swimming or bathing, Interior Health advised Friday, June 4, 2021. (District of Lake Country photo)

Due to an algae bloom, Wood Lake water is not safe for drinking, swimming or bathing, Interior Health advised Friday, June 4, 2021. (District of Lake Country photo)

Wood Lake unsafe for drinking, swimming due to large algae bloom: IH

The blue-green algae bloom could be dangerous for people, pets and livestock, Interior Health says

Wood Lake water has been deemed unsafe for drinking, swimming or bathing by Interior Health due to a “large” algae bloom.

The central Okanagan lake has had ongoing problems with algae in recent weeks. On Friday the health authority said the blue-green algae bloom, which can appear in some parts of the lake as a thick sludge, can “become dangerous to people, pets and livestock very quickly.

For this reason, IH has advised that individuals:

• Assume the water is not safe for drinking for people or animals. People with water intakes on Wood Lake should use an alternate source of drinking water. Boiling the water will not remove any of the toxins created by the blue-green algae bloom.

• Do not swim or bathe in the lake. Keep your animals away from the lake. Livestock and pet owners should not allow their animals to go in the water.

Swimming in or drinking water affected by an algae bloom can cause headaches, nausea, fever, muscle aches, mouth ulcers, red skin, sore throat, cramps or diarrhea.

If you are showing any of the symptoms listed above and believe they may be from exposure to blue-green algae, see a health-care provider.

More information on cyanobacteria blooms (blue-green algae) is available at HealthLinkBC, and the Ministry of Environment’s Algae Watch website.

Additional information on safe drinking water is available here.

READ MORE: ‘Wood Lake looks seriously unwell’: Lake Country residents

READ MORE: Shuswap algal bloom prompts provincial water monitoring initiative


Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
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