Blue-green algae found in Dartmouth lake that supplies drinking water

Another Dartmouth, N.S., lake has been found to have blue-green algae and this time the lake is a major source of drinking water.

The algae has been found in the Lake Major water supply, but Halifax Water says a toxin emitted from blue-green algae is still below the acceptable concentration determined by Health Canada.

"Any harmful blue-green algae that we test for are coming back non-detect, so in other words the water is perfectly safe," said James Campbell of Halifax Water. "There's no issue whatsoever with any kind of blue-green algae issues that can develop."

Lake Major supplies water for 103,000 residents in Dartmouth, Cole Harbour, Eastern Passage, North Preston, Westphal, and Burnside.

People who live in those communities do not have to do anything different when it comes to the water coming out of their tap.

It is the first time blue-green algae has been reported by Halifax Water.

In Moncton, N.B., the municipal water supply at Turtle Creek was found to have traces of blue-green algae in 2017 and again in 2018.

The water always remained safe to drink.

All three levels of government provided a total of $6 million in funding for an improved filtration system.

In Dartmouth, algae blooms have been observed at Lake Mic Mac.

Warnings about blue-green algae have been posted this summer at the Irishtown nature park in Moncton as well.

High temperatures are being blamed for all of it.

"There is an increase in algae, little green round things, that produce toxins and this is directly following the warming of the water," said Peter Leavitt, the Canada research chair of evironmental change and society at the University of Regina.

Back at Halifax Water, Campbell says they put this message out because there's been a lot of reports in the news lately of different lakes and beaches being closed because of blue-green algae.

"We just wanted to make sure people have confidence in their water supply," he said. "The water supplied by Halifax Water is perfectly safe."

If that changes, Halifax Water says it will make sure every customer is aware.