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July 21, 2005
For immediate release

Advisory Issued for MacLure's Dam

Health and Social Services

The Department of Health and Social Services is advising the public to avoid swimming or eating fish from MacLure’s Dam in Murray River due to a heavy growth of blue-green algae. Signs are being posted at popular access points to the water at this site.

Heavy blue-green algae may form a scum on the surface of freshwater ponds and lakes and can cause skin rashes and irritation of the eyes of swimmers. Humans that inadvertently drink the water while swimming can experience nausea, vomiting, sore throat, diarrhea, or cramps. No deaths from drinking water with blue-green algae growth have ever been reported in Canada. Blue-green algae does not occur in well water.

Blue-green algae are a natural component of the environment that, while present on PEI , do not commonly cause large algal blooms here. Blooms are common in other parts of Canada such as the prairies and occur naturally. Biologists can recognize the species by observing granules in water where the species is found.

Pet owners are also advised to keep their animals from drinking the water from MacLure’s Dam. It is also advised that fish from the posted site should not be consumed.

The Department of Environment, Energy and Forestry will continue to monitor the situation and will advise the public when this advisory has been lifted.

For more information, please contact: Dr. Lamont Sweet, Chief Health Officer (902) 368-4996 or Bruce Raymond, Department of Environment, Energy and Forestry (902) 368-5054.

Media Contact: Island Information Service
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