There have been reports of an algae bloom north of Frog Rapids in Abram Lake, near Sioux Lookout. The
bloom is being tested by the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks to see if it is blue-green
algae. At this time, the results are not known, so Northwestern Health Unit asks that people treat it as
though it is blue-green algae.

Blue-green algae are microscopic organisms that are naturally present in lakes and streams. They are
usually present in low numbers but can rapidly increase in certain conditions to form a large mass or
scum, called a bloom. Some blue-green algae produce toxins that can pose a health risk to people and
animals when they are exposed to them in large amounts.

When blue-green algae blooms are present, it is important to avoid drinking the water, swimming in it, and
using it for bathing or other household purposes. Residential water treatment systems may not remove
toxins and should not be relied on during a bloom event. Do not boil the water, as this can cause an
increase in toxin levels. Municipally treated water supplies can be used normally unless you are notified

People and pets should avoid contact with water that has been recently impacted by a blue green algae
bloom, is discoloured or has scum on the surface. If contact does occur, wash with soap and water or
rinse thoroughly with clean water to remove algae.

It is recommended to wait at least two weeks after the bloom has disappeared before resuming
the normal use of lake waters.

If you spot a bloom, report it to the Spills Action Centre at 1-866-MOETIPS (6638477)

For more information on blue-green algae blooms, follow the links below:
• Information about Blue-Green Algae – Ministry of Environment

If you have questions please contact Northwestern Health Unit 1-800-830-5978 to speak with a public
health inspector.

PDF version of the Northwestern Health Unit media release availabe to download at link below.