Water quality advisory due to fecal bacteria detected in Hubbles Lake west of Edmonton

It isn’t the news water-lovers want to hear heading into a 30-degree weekend, but Alberta Health Services is advising people stay out of the water at a lake west of Edmonton.

Due to elevated levels of fecal bacteria currently present in the water, AHS is advising the public not to swim or wade in the Allan Beach area of Hubbles Lake, effective immediately.

The lake is located a few kilometres west of Stony Plain in Parkland County, between the Yellowhead and Highway 16a, and is surrounded by residential properties and an RV resort.

At current levels, gastrointestinal illness may result from contact with the water and there is the possibility of skin, ear and eye infections with water contact, the health authority said.

Read more: Fecal bacteria levels leads to water quality advisory on north shore of Pigeon Lake

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If people do decide to access the water, AHS says they should take precautions to protect themselves such as avoiding contact with the face or mouth and ensure hands are washed after being in the water.

AHS said hand washing can also help protect against skin, ear and eye infections.

“As always, visitors and residents are reminded to never drink or cook with untreated water directly from any river, lake or reservoir, at any time. Water-borne organisms, including fecal bacteria, can cause vomiting and diarrhea,” the advisory issued Monday said.

Read more: Scientist publishes study on blue-green algae; urges Alberta government to act

The advisory will remain in effect until further notice. AHS said environmental public health officers will continue to monitor the water and signage will be posted at common beach access points.

Last year, fecal bacteria advisories were issued for several popular Alberta lakes, including Wabamun Lake, Pigeon Lake, Sturgeon Lake, Buffalo Lake and Gull Lake.

Read more: Fecal bacteria leads to advisories at multiple Alberta lakes, including Wabamun and Pigeon

So far this summer, only one lake in northern Alberta has been placed under a blue-green algae advisory.

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