The Grand River Conservation Authority says blue-green algae has been found in three local lakes.

The algae may contain microcystin, a toxin which can cause illness if injested by people or animals. Symptoms include headaches, fever, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting.

“As long as you don’t drink the water, I think it’s fine for swimming,” says Cam Linwood, GRCA Communications and Development Coordinator. “Don’t come into contact with the algae when it’s either floating on the surface of the water or on the shoreline.”

Anyone visiting Conestogo, Belwood and Woolwich reservoirs are urged to take the following precautions:

  • Keep children and pets away from the algae
  • Avoid contact with the algae
  • Don’t swim in the water
  • Don’t fish from the lake
  • Don’t drink the water

Boaters are also asked to avoid touching the algae.

No illnesses have been reported.

Algae blooms usually occur during hot, dry weather.