Green slime on Williams Lake is being examined by the Interior Health Authority’s environmental health office.
Williams Lake City Coun. Scott Nelson said during Tuesday’s committee of the whole meeting that a number of residents called IHA and the provincial government about a ‘huge green slime on top of the lake’ and brought in samples.
On Wednesday, the City’s chief administrative officer Gary Murca said the City heard back from IHA and there has been some tests on the algae on the lake and the City’s drinking water.
“Our drinking water is absolutely not affected by the lake quality as we pull our water from the aquifer through deep wells,” Muraca told the Tribune. “There would be an issue if we pulled from the lake itself for consumption, but there are no licences to pull water from anywhere on the lake for drinking.”
Muraca said the lake has been tested for recreational use and passes the requirements as well.
“The increased algae is a result of extra nutrients and vegetation and is not ideal, looks disgusting but, does not appear to be a health concern in the eyes of the regulatory bodies,” Murac said, noting IHA will continue to monitor and the City will follow up with them with any concerns of its own.
In April the lake’s level rose around five feet above normal levels after Borland Creek and the San Jose River saw historic flows.
Interior Health confirmed Thursday, Oct. 1, that the north shore of Williams Lake experienced a localized, seasonal algae bloom this year, which is common on this lake.
Interior Health was notified in early September of the algae bloom and conducted field tests to determine the level of algal toxin produced by the bloom.
All field test came back “non-detect”, meaning that the algae was not producing any toxin.
Interior Health also sent algae samples to the lab for testing and the results confirmed that the toxin levels were below the established provincial and federal guidelines for drinking water and recreational water. IH will monitor the bloom until it dissipates.
For more information on algae blooms please visit: https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/healthlinkbc-files/blue-green-algae
This article was updated from the original with additional information we received directly from Interior Health