Toxic blue-green algae discovery closes Hamilton’s Pier 4 public beach

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Published August 29, 2023 at 5:29 pm

The City of Hamilton is cautioning residents about the presence of toxin-producing blue-green algae at Peir 4 park beach, today (Aug. 29).

As a result of this discovery, the beach and all water recreational activities will be closed to public. The closure will remain in effect until the blue-green algae subsides.

Blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) forms in shallow, warm, slow-moving or still waters with high nutrient loads. Hamilton usually sees algae blooms until late November, early December.

Authorities are urging Hamiltonians to refrain from any contact with the blue-green algae due to the potential health risks associated with exposure.

“People who come into contact with visible blue-green algae or ingest water containing blue-green algae may experience skin irritation, rash, sore throat, sore red eyes, swollen lips, fever, nausea and vomiting and/or diarrhea,” City of Hamilton said in a press release.

Residents and visitors are asked to steer clear of all interactions with the water at Pier 4 Park beach, which includes activities such as launching or trailering watercraft.

If direct contact with the water does occur, it’s crucial to promptly cleanse the affected area with clean water.

Visitors are asked to exercise caution and abstain from swimming or wading through the water at the beach. The warning extends to pets as well.

Anyone who has recently been in direct contact with the waters at Pier 4 Park beach and is experiencing symptoms is advised to contact their primary care provider (family physician, nurse practitioner or walk-in clinic).

For the current status of the water quality at Hamilton beaches visit www.hamilton.ca/beaches.

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