People who live near Grand Lake, N.S. want answers on safety of water
People who live on Grand Lake outside Halifax want more information from the province about the blue-green algae contamination in the water and the health risks associated with it.
Residents have been told not to use wells that draw from Grand Lake. The Municipality of East Hants had been handing out drinking water, a program that is coming to an end.
The minister of environment and climate change was asked Thursday about the province providing assistance to those affected. Keith Irving’s comment was clear.
"Short answer is no, homeowners are responsible for the cost of getting safe drinking water to their home whether they hook up to a municipal system or dig a well," Irving said.
As for using the lake recreationally, the province's stance is to do so at your own risk. Health experts say ingesting contaminated water can cause health issues.
"If you did drink some lake water during an algae bloom, you might have some stomach upset, vomiting and diarrhea, you might get a headache and some cramps," says regional officer of health Dr. Austin Zygmunt.
Long-time Grand Lake resident Mike Murphy isn’t sure how to proceed, he says the province needs to provide more information to people who live in the area.
"Jury is out for me at the moment," Murphy said. "I’m waiting to hear what happens, I think the government does owe us further information. I know there’s a lot of folks that are pretty concerned about the situation."
Late Thursday afternoon, the department of fisheries and oceans repealed their fishing prohibition on Grand Lake and the Shubenacadie River.
The Halifax Regional Fire Department will continue to provide bottled water to residents in the area.
Water is available at the stations in Grand Lake and Wellington.