A Chimney Lake resident reported a possible blue-green algae bloom to the Chimney and Felker Lake Landholders Association. (Photo submitted)

Chimney Lake algae bloom raises some concerns

Lake resident said she doesn’t want to promote fear and is having it tested

A Chimney Lake resident hopes testing for possible blue-green algae bloom on the lake will give residents some answers.

Jacinta D’Andrea said another resident on the lake sent the Chimney and Felker Lake Landholders Association an e-mail saying he saw something wash up on the shore that looked like the algae and contacted the Ministry of Environment.

“I don’t want people to panic,” Jacinta D’Andrea said Monday, noting she has contacted Interior Health and is waiting to arrange to drop off a sample so it can be tested to determine what it is.

“It was a relatively small area where the possible algae was, relative to the size of the lake.”

She said she has been swimming with her children in the lake and isn’t fearful it is something that has contaminated the whole lake, however, because she’s not an expert she wanted to inform residents and pursue the testing.

A week ago Friday she sent out a notice for information purposes that was shared on the association Facebook page with a bulletin from HealthLinkBC about Cyanobacteria blooms.

Cyanobacteria blooms are natural, the website noted, adding some human activities such as agriculture or a poorly functioning septic systems can make blooms more likely.

Reacting to her post, people have commented that the lake always has algae.

D’Andrea agreed and said most algae is harmless, but added no matter what the outcome, she sees it is an opportunity for all the lake residents to look at how they are contributing to the lake’s health.

“There are so many factors and I don’t think this is about blaming or pointing fingers, I’d like to know what this is and if it is a potentially harmful algae related to human activities. I hope through greater awareness we can help prevent it from happening again.”

As of Friday, July 31, D’Andrea said she had not heard anything back yet from Interior Health.

Five years ago testing of an algae bloom in Horse Lake west of 100 Mile House determined there was no health risk as it was not producing chemicals that would impact human health.

Read more: Algae bloom at Horse Lake not a health risk

In a public service announcement at the time, Interior Health noted blue-green algae blooms often become visible when weather conditions are calm.

Appearing like scum, grass clippings, fuzz or globs on the surface of water, blue-green algae can be blue-green, greenish-brown, brown or pinkish-red, and often smell musty or grassy.


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