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Water quality advisory issued due to toxic algae bloom at Vernon lake

Water sampling has detected the presence of harmful blue-green algae in Goose Lake
An image of harmful blue-green algae. (File photo by The Canadian Press)

A potentially toxic algae bloom has prompted a water quality advisory for some Vernon residents.

Greater Vernon Water (GVW) is advising customers supplied by the Goose Lake non-potable water source that the presence of cyanobacteria — a harmful blue-green algae — was identified in the lake through routine sampling.

According to the Regional District of North Okanagan (RDNO), current weather patterns have been ideal for algae growth, and there is an indication that the water may be potentially harmful or toxic if consumed by animals and livestock.

GVW recommends using an alternate water source for animal use, noting that boiling water does not remove blue-green algae toxins.

The occurrence of a harmful algae bloom is common in Goose Lake, and GVW says it’s not always able to turn the water source off or guarantee timely treatment. At present, the water source will stay on.

The RDNO says it is the customer’s responsibility to provide a safe water supply for animals and livestock and ensure on-site non-potable water sources are clearly labeled on the property. Non-potable signage can be downloaded for free from under the non-potable water tab.

More information on cyanobacteria blooms can be found at HealthLinkBC.

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Brendan Shykora
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Brendan Shykora

About the Author: Brendan Shykora

I started as a carrier at the age of 8. In 2019 graduated from the Master of Journalism program at Carleton University.
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