The Northwestern Health Units says there are reports of algae blooms in Spruce Lake and at Anicinabe Beach in Kenora.

The health unit says the blooms are being tested to see if they are blue-green algae and until the results are known residents should treat the blooms as blue-green algae.

As a result, the City of Kenora has closed Anicinabe Beach until further notice.

Blue-green algae, or cyanobacteria, are microscopic organisms that are naturally present in lakes and streams. They are usually present in low numbers but can rapidly increase in warm, shallow, undisturbed surface water that gets lots of sun.

Blooms often make the water look blue-green or olive-green, or like green pea soup or turquoise paint.

Some blue-green algae produce toxins and can pose a health risk to people and animals when they are exposed to them in large amounts.

Health may be impacted if large amounts of surface scum or water containing high levels of blue-green algae toxins are swallowed, come in contact with the skin, or when airborne drops containing toxins are inhaled while swimming, bathing, or showering.

If contact does occur wash with soap and water or rinse thoroughly with clean water to remove algae.