Beach Closures

Chatham-Kent Public Health Unit

Media Release

July 16th, 2013

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Beach Closures in Chatham-Kent

The Chatham-Kent Public Health Unit will be closing Chatham-Kent area beaches due to reports of intense green water along the shores of Lake Erie and Lake St Clair. This green water is the result of a cyanobacterial bloom which causes the water to have a foul odour and green pea-soup appearance.

Recent tests completed by the Ministry of Environment in areas adjacent to Chatham-Kent have confirmed the presence of cyanobacteria (formerly known as blue-green algae). It is highly likely the bloom in Chatham-Kent is the result of cyanobacteria. Cyanobacteria can produce toxins that are harmful to the health of people and animals.

The risk to health comes from contact and/or consumption of the water. Skin contact with contaminated water can cause itchy irritated skin or eyes. If the toxins are swallowed symptoms such as headaches, fever, diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea or vomiting are likely and serious neurological effects have been seen occasionally.

Municipal drinking water supplies are being monitored. The Chatham-Kent water treatment plant regularly tests for cyanobacterial toxin and can take action quickly to remove any health risk.

The Chatham-Kent Public Health Unit is advising the public to avoid exposure to the blue green algae.

  • Do not swim or wade in any water when a noticeable green surface scum or green discolouration of the water is present
  • Do not use the water for drinking, bathing or showering
  • Do not allow children, pets or livestock to drink or swim in the water.
  • Do not boil the water or treat it with a disinfectant, as this will release more toxins into the water
  • Eating fish caught in water where cyanobacterial blooms occur is not recommended.

More information on cyanobacteria can be found at:

http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ewh-semt/pubs/water-eau/cyanobacter-eng.php

http://www.ene.gov.on.ca/stdprodconsume/groups/lr/@ene/@resources/documents/resource/std01_079454.pdf

http://www.ene.gov.on.ca/stdprodconsume/groups/lr/@ene/@resources/documents/resource/std01_079455.pdf

–       ends –

For more information:

Rosemarie Arndt, Manager, Environmental Program

Chatham-Kent Public Health Unit

435 Grand Avenue West

P.O Box 1136 Chatham, Ontario N7M 5L8

Tel: (519) 352-7270, ext. 2480 Fax: (519) 352-2166

http://www.chatham-kent.ca

 

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One Response to Beach Closures

  1. Chatham-Kent beaches safe for swimming – London Free Press

    Louise Marshall of Erieau called The Chatham Daily News late Monday to report the water at the beach across the street from her house was the colour of …

    Full article: http://www.lfpress.com/2013/07/18/chatham-kent-beaches-safe-for-swimming

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