If you notice an oil slick, or an unsightly blob of some substance in the lake, the best thing to do is to report it. That will set in motion the process for investigating and resolving the issue at hand. The substance could be hazardous to health and safety, and could have resulted from a spill of a toxic substance (gasoline, chemicals, paint, etc.) or it could be a blue-green algae bloom. In any event, the agency to contact is the:
ONTARIO SPILLS ACTION CENTRE (SAC)
Please consult the following links for further details and what to report to the Spills Action Centre:
Blue-Green Algae blob in the water;
A spill of a pollutant or possible toxic substance (gasoline, oil, paint, etc.)
What Happens Next ?
Once you've made your report, the following process is as follows:
- the Ontario Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) sends out an Environmental Officer to assess the situation and take samples
- samples are tested in an appropriate laboratory
- if the results of the test so warrant, the Health Unit will prepare and promulgate a Health Advisory to the media. Also, the Health Advisory is forwarded to the Lake Networking Group and to the MLA for further distribution
- if the results are benign, a report is issued from the MOECC Environmental Officer to the person who originally reported the incident; and
- in either case, follow-up reports and status will be posted to the MLA website as new information becomes available.