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Blue-green algae found in Wildwood Reservoir

Huron Perth Public Health and Southwestern Public Health are advising people that a bloom of blue-green algae has been detected in Wildwood Reservoir. The reservoir is located at Wildwood Conservation Area, near St. Marys. Blue-green algae can produce toxins that may be harmful to the health of humans and animals when there is direct contact with or consumption of the water. Algal blooms most commonly occur during the warmer weather of late summer and early fall.

The Upper Thames River Conservation Authority (UTRCA) closed the reservoir for swimming as of 11 a.m., Tuesday, September 5.

The Health Units advise that until further notice, residents and visitors should take the following precautions:

  • Avoid swimming or partaking in other activities that involve direct contact with the water at Wildwood Reservoir (note that children are more vulnerable than adults to the toxins produced by the algae).
  • Do not allow pets to swim in or drink the water.
  • In case of accidental contact with the water, thoroughly wash any area of exposure with clean water and soap.
  • Do not eat fish caught at Wildwood Reservoir.

While the blue-green algae may not show the presence of toxins, there is always a risk that toxins could be produced. Toxins may stay in the water for up to three weeks after the algal bloom is gone. Drinking water supplies from wells in the area have not been affected by this algal bloom, as blooms are not a concern for groundwater drinking supplies.

The severity of symptoms and the level of risk to health depend on how you are exposed to blue-green algae toxins. Human health effects may include:

  • Itchy, irritated eyes and skin from direct contact through activities such as swimming, and;
  • If large quantities of the toxin are swallowed, symptoms such as headache, fever, diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting.

The Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) has been notified of the situation.

For more information, see the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks webpage onĀ Blue-Green Algae.

Perth County residents can call Huron Perth Public Health toll-free at 1-888-221-2133.

Oxford County residents can call Southwestern Public Health at 519-421-9901 or toll-free at 1-800-922-0096.

Contact Us

Huron Perth Public Health

Huron Office
77722B London Road, RR #5, Clinton, ON
N0M 1L0

Perth Office
653 West Gore St., Stratford ON N5A 1L4
Toll-free 1-888-221-2133
askhpph@hpph.ca

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