On Friday, Sept. 17, 2021, the Kingston District Office of the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks received a notification regarding a possible harmful algae bloom at Gilmour Point Beach on Dog Lake in Battersea.
Until samples can be taken and tested, South Frontenac Township is recommending that residents temporarily refrain from swimming at the beach, located at 1763 Wellington St. Battersea, until the Ministry of Environment can confirm that the adverse event has been resolved.
Blue-green algae blooms (sometimes called “pond scum”) are large masses of a type of bacteria called cyanobacteria. Cyanobacteria grow in warm, shallow or slow-moving water, especially if the water has been contaminated with fertilizer, sewage or phosphate soap. Certain species of blue-green algae can produce toxins that are referred to as cyanobacterial toxins or cyanotoxins.
In addition to no swimming, residents are encouraged to avoid entering or using lake water near the bloom, as well as restricting pet and livestock access to the water near the bloom. Human health effects from contact with these toxins may include: itchy, irritated eyes and skin from direct contact, and if large quantities of the toxins are swallowed, flu-like symptoms, such as headache, fever, diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting. Health related inquiries should be referred to your family physician or the KFL&A Public Health.
Signage warning against swimming will be posted at the beach to communicate the potential health risk that current conditions pose, according to the township.