MUSKOKA LAKES, ON- Blue green algae has been found in Brandy Lake.

According to the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, the provincial environment recently confirmed the presence of the algae in the lake with lab testing.

The wind and water currents can change the location of blooms, which could make the water look bluish green, similar to turquoise paint or green pea soup. Swimming and other water sports activities should be avoided in areas where the bloom is visible.

The health unit is advising residents around the west end of Brandy Lake, to avoid using the lake water for drinking or food preparation, including breastmilk substitute (infant formula). Boiling the water will not destroy the toxins, and home treatment systems should not be relied on.

“Exposure to blue-green algae, whether for drinking, swimming, cooking or through eating fish caught from the west end of Brandy Lake may result in illness,” read the health unit notice.

“Adverse health effects are mainly caused by drinking water that is contaminated with blue-green algae toxins. Symptoms from consuming toxins can include headaches, fever, diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, and can be more serious if water is swallowed in large quantities.”

The health unit will continue to monitor the lake, with updates posted to their website.