Pier 4 Beach closed due to blue-green algae
City of Hamilton Public Health Services has confirmed the presence of toxin-producing blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) at the Pier 4 Park beach.
The beach will be posted as “closed” on-site including all water recreational activities. The closure will be in effect until the blue-green algae subsides. Hamilton Public Health Services will continue to monitor, gather water samples, and provide updates at hamilton.ca/beaches.
Contact with blue-green algae should be avoided due to the potential health risks associated with it. Residents and visitors are advised to:
- Avoid all contact with the water at Pier 4 Park beach, including while launching or trailering watercraft.
- If you do come in contact with the water, wash yourself off as soon as possible with clean water. Facilities for hand washing and rinsing off are available at Pier 4 Park beach.
- Do not swim or wade (or allow your pets to swim or wade) in any areas where blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) is visible.
Adverse health effects are mainly caused by drinking the water that is contaminated with blue-green algae toxins. 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.
Anyone who has recently been in direct contact with the waters at Pier 4 Park beach and is experiencing headaches, fever, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, nausea or vomiting is advised to contact their primary care provider (family physician, nurse practitioner or walk-in clinic).
- Blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) forms in shallow, warm, slow-moving or still waters.
- Temperature fluctuations (i.e. increased water temperature), high nutrient loads, water mixing, slow-moving or still waters, provide the ideal environment for the proliferation of naturally occurring blue-green algae.
- Algae/vegetation in the water can give off an offensive odour as it dies and decays. This may be more prominent along the shoreline and in the various “nooks and crannies” along the shoreline (i.e. docks/boat slips).
- Locally, algae blooms have been observed until late November, early December.
- The safety of Hamilton’s drinking water is not affected by the confirmation of blue-green algae at Pier 4 Park beach.
For the current status of the water quality at Hamilton beaches visit www.hamilton.ca/beaches