Officials with Alberta Health Services issued a blue-green algae advisory Friday for a popular lake southwest of Edmonton.

AHS said blue-green algae had been detected in the water on Pigeon Lake.

As a result, those living near and visiting the lake are asked to take the following precautions:

  • Avoid contact with algae blooms, and if contact occurs to wash with tap water right away
  • Not swim or wade or allow pets to swim or wade in any areas algae is visible
  • Not feed whole fish or trimmings from this lake to pets
  • Consider limiting consumption of whole fish or fish trimmings from the lake, as fish can store toxins in their liver – fish fillets from fish from the lake can be consumed safely

In addition, visitors and residents are reminded to not drink or cook with untreated water from any recreational body of water, including this lake, at any time. Boiling the water won’t remove toxins produced by the algae, and an alternate source of water should be provided to pets and livestock.

Blue-green algae occurs naturally, and is often visible when weather conditions are calm – it looks like scum, grass clippings, fuzz or globs on the surface of the water.

Anyone who comes in contact with blue-green algae, or who ingest water containing algae may experience skin irritation, rash, sore throat, sore red eyes, swollen lips, fever, nausea and vomiting and/or diarrhea.

Symptoms appear within one to three hours and resolve within one to two days.

Anyone who has an issue with blue-green algae, or needs more information on health concerns and blue-green algae is asked to call Health Link at 811.