Friday, July 19, 2013


Yesterday's Elmira Independent has a story titled "Blue-green algae found in Woolwich Reservoir". Due to my current state of ongoing rehabilitation (hip surgery) I was unable to pick up the Independent in the late morning as I usually do. Therefore I first heard of these warning signs from my son, two fellow students and their Biology Prof, who dropped by yesterday afternoon for some cold water and cooling air conditioning. They had been in and around Guelph, Elmira and the Woolwich Reservoir, north of Elmira, taking plant samples.

You can then imagine my surprise when my wife brought home the Independent after work and there was the above story. Apparently there were some locals who became ill after swimming at the reservoir. Symptoms can include headaches, fever, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. A skin rash can also develop if you come into direct contact. These algal blooms are a phenomenon caused by excess phosphorous in water from manure, fertilizers and human waste. That combined with heat and they are off to the races.

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