City of Hamilton removing ‘smelly algae’ along waterfront

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Published August 24, 2021 at 1:05 pm

Blue-green algae in a creek.
A photo of blue-green algae in a creek.

The City of Hamilton has begun to clean up large collections of algae along parts of the Hamilton Harbour shoreline between Bayfront Park and Pier 8 and at Windermere Basin.

A City spokesperson says the operation involves cleaning the “smelly algae mats” and is expected to be completed by Wednesday (Aug, 25).

Large vacuum trucks are on-site to collect the mats.

“Material collected will be disposed of at the Woodward Wastewater Treatment Plant,” according to the media release sent by the City. “Algae is common when lake levels are low and there are extended periods of hot and humid weather.”

While Hamilton Public Health Services has declared the presence of toxic blue-green algae at Pier 4 Beach in Hamilton Harbour, it is currently unknown if the algae mats along the rest of the shoreline are also blue-green algae. The City says it has collected samples of the algae mats and material and will be completing an analysis to determine its characteristics.

Residents are being advised to avoid all contact with the water along the western shoreline of Hamilton Harbour, 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,” advises the City.

Facilities for hand washing and rinsing off are available at the Bayfront Park Public Washrooms located at the east side of the Bayfront Park parking lot.

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