ELMSDALE, N.S. -- A popular lake in the Halifax area remains off-limits because of an ongoing water quality issue.

Grand Lake was closed to the public last week after a woman became sick and two pets died following exposure to the water.

Oakfield Provincial Park is on the shores of Grand Lake and while the park is still open, the water is off-limits.

“I'm excited to swim…and I can't,” says park user Jennifer Lawlor.

An advisory was issued on Thursday, telling residents to avoid all contact with the water following the death of two dogs and the hospitalization of a woman.

Maggie Power says it seems early in the year for a lake as big as Grand Lake to have issues with water quality.

“It is kind of weird because it's always been a place I've felt comfortable swimming for sure, and I've always considered it to be fairly clean water," says Power.

Rapid water samples have come back inconclusive. Visual inspections by officials with Nova Scotia’s department of environment and climate change suggest a bloom of blue-green algae is the cause of the contamination.

Until the all-clear is given, residents with shallow wells within 60 metres of Grand Lake are asked to not use the water for bathing, cooking or drinking.

Until then, the Municipality of East Hants is providing water and shower facilities at the community aquatic centre.

Affected residents can also collect drinking water from the Halifax regional fire stations in Grand Lake and Wellington.