Although water tests near the Salmon Arm wharf and at Canoe Beach show no harmful toxin as of Aug. 19, a cautionary advisory issued by Interior Health to avoid contact with the algal bloom remains. (File photo)

Although water tests near the Salmon Arm wharf and at Canoe Beach show no harmful toxin as of Aug. 19, a cautionary advisory issued by Interior Health to avoid contact with the algal bloom remains. (File photo)

Good news: Algae tests in two areas of Shuswap Lake don’t contain toxin

People still advised to avoid swimming or contact with bloom in areas where it can be seen

Although an algal bloom is still present in Shuswap Lake, test results have come back with positive news.

The Shuswap Watershed Council received information from Interior Health on Friday, Aug. 19 that water samples collected on Tuesday, Aug. 16 from around the Salmon Arm wharf and at Canoe Beach do not show microcystin, the toxin that can be associated with particularly harmful algae blooms.

However, the ‘cautionary advisory’ from Interior Health is still in place because the bloom is still present in the lake.

Interior Health issued what’s called a cautionary advisory for the areas in light green around the Salmon Arm area of Shuswap Lake. Residents and visitors are asked to watch for an algae bloom and avoid contact with it. If you do contact it, rinse your body with clean water. (Columbia Shuswap Regional District map)

Interior Health issued what’s called a cautionary advisory for the areas in light green around the Salmon Arm area of Shuswap Lake. Residents and visitors are asked to watch for an algae bloom and avoid contact with it. If you do contact it, rinse your body with clean water. (Columbia Shuswap Regional District map)

With a cautionary advisory, Interior Health makes several recommendations.

• Avoid all direct contact with the bloom. If contact is made, rinse your body with clean water.

• Recreational activities, such as swimming, are discouraged in areas where the bloom is present.

• Do not consume drinking water directly from the lake. If your water intake is from the Salmon Arm portion of Shuswap Lake (i.e. Steamboat Island to Tappen Bay and Salmon Arm Wharf – see attached map), consider using an alternate source for drinking water. Contact your water supplier for more information. Water from the City of Salmon Arm is considered safe as it comes from a different portion of the lake and is tested continually.

• Consider providing pets and livestock with an alternate source of drinking water.

Signs containing cautionary information are posted at beaches where algae might be present.

More information on algae can be found at HealthLink BC Cyanobacteria Blooms (Blue-Green Algae) or at the Ministry of Environment’s Algae Watch website.

For health related inquiries, you’re asked to call the Salmon Arm Health Clinic at 250-833-4106.

The Shuswap Watershed Council issued a document on ways for residents to help protect water quality.

Read more: Swimming discouraged in Shuswap Lake where algae bloom can be seen

Read more: Pirates sailing into Shuswap Lake courtesy of marina




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Shuswap Lake