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Blue-green algae found in Rideau River at Long Island Locks

Ottawa Public Health is urging people to avoid the water at the Long Island Locks along the Rideau River after blue-green algae was discovered.

The health unit says surface water at the locks at 390 Nicolls Island Road contains blue-green algae.

“Toxins associated with blue-green algae can harm people and pets through ingestion or skin contact; avoid impacted water until further notice.”

The Long Island Lockstation is located on the east bank of the Rideau River at the southern tip of Nicolls Island.

While blue-green algae blooms are common most summers, there are dangers when the blooms are disrupted and break down because it can release toxins. The algae occurs naturally in ponds, rivers, lakes and streams.

The Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks says if you suspect a blue-green algal bloom, you should:

  • assume toxins are present
  • avoid using, drinking, bathing or swimming in the water (call your local health unit for swimming advisories)
  • restrict pet and livestock access to the water

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