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Warning issued for blue-green algae bloom at Beaver Lake

Warnings were previously issued for Elk, Durrance and Thetis lakes
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A sign warns of a blue-green algae bloom at Beaver Lake in 2017. DARREN STONE, TIMES COLONIST

The Capital Regional District and Island Health are warning of another blue-green algae bloom, this one at Beaver Lake, in addition to three existing blooms at Elk Lake, Durrance Lake and Thetis Lake.

People are advised to avoid contact with the algae and to keep pets on a leash to prevent them from drinking or swimming in the lake, since the blooms produce cyanotoxins that can cause headaches and abdominal pain in humans, and can lead to fatal liver damage for dogs.

Updates can be found at crd.bc.ca/alerts.

The CRD said that the blooms can have a blue-green sheen and look like surface scum, but not all blooms are easily visible.

An oxygenator installed in Elk Lake this summer could have an impact on the occurrence of blue-green algae blooms by next fall.

It functions by pumping oxygen into the lower portion of the lake to keep the nutrients on the bottom from rising and causing the algae to grow.

jbell@timescolonist.com