The NWHU is warning the public of confirmed and suspected blue-green algae blooms in the area.  

The Northwestern Health Unit (NWHU) has been busy following up on reports of suspected blue-green algae.  

A blue-green algae bloom was confirmed in Minniaki Lake near Sioux Lookout on July 21, and another suspected bloom on Pelican Lake in Sioux Lookout has been ruled out as NOT blue-green algae.  

The NWHU is now investigating a newly reported bloom at Kirk Lake near Sioux Lookout. The lake is currently being tested by the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) to see if it is blue-green algae.  

While it is being tested, the NWHU is asking the public to treat it as though it is blue-green algae.  

Blue-green algae are microscopic organisms that are naturally present in lakes and streams. They are usually present in low numbers but can rapidly increase in certain conditions to form a large mass or scum, called a bloom.  

Some blue-green algae produce toxins that can pose a health risk to people and animals when they are exposed to them in large amounts 

When blue-green algae bloom is present, it is important to not drink the lake water, avoid swimming in it or using it for bathing, and avoid using it for any household purposes. 

Residential water treatment systems may not remove toxins and should not be relied on during a bloom event. Do not boil the water, as this can cause an increase in toxin levels. Municipally treated water supplies can be used normally unless you are notified otherwise. 

The NWHU recommends waiting at least two weeks after the bloom disappears before resuming the normal use of the lake.  

If you spot a bloom, report it to the Spills Action Centre at 1-866-MOETIPS (6638477).