We have just had confirmation from MOE that we have a blue green algae outbreak on Ella Lake; however, we don’t have the details of what the toxicity levels are yet. In the meantime, please refrain from using the lake/river water for drinking, brushing your teeth, sauna, showering, bathing, etc. It was reported that this outbreak has been persistent since at least December, so this is a very curious situation and I suggest you refrain from using the water for the rest of the winter at least. We will let you know more once all the details are known.
You should not drink surface water during an algal bloom, even if it is treated, because in-home treatments such as boiling and disinfecting water with chlorine or UV and water filtration units do not protect people from blue-green algal toxins.
If you have an opportunity to talk to any ice fishermen on the upstream lakes, please inquire as to whether they have seen this blue green algae (scum) coming up through their ice holes. If blue green algae has been seen on any of the upstream lakes, please call the Health Unit at 705 522-9200 and they will come out to take a sample. Please also contact Vermilion River Stewardship at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know so we can warn the local residents.
VRS will start our telephone tree; however, we may be missing some people living on the river, so please let your neighbours know of the outbreak and ask them not to use the lake/river water for any of the above uses.
For more information on blue green algae, please check out the information on our website at: