January 19, 2023
EDMONTON – Due to potentially elevated levels of fecal bacteria that are likely present in the water at Big Lake in Edmonton Zone of Alberta Health Services (AHS), AHS is advising the public not to engage in any activities that would involve exposure to the water or shoreline of Big Lake. This advisory is in place due to sewage run-off that entered the lake and its shoreline after a pipeline carrying wastewater ruptured.
Elevated levels of fecal bacteria are very likely at the spill site and surrounding area on the south shore. While it is currently unclear how far the run off may extend along the shoreline, the site of the spill was near Range Road 261 at Lakeshore Estates.
At these suspected levels, gastrointestinal illness may result from ingestion of the water from Big Lake. As well, there is the possibility of skin, ear and eye infections with water contact. AHS also recommends that residents do not consume fish from the lake and refrain from using lake water for consumption, even if it’s been treated.
We advise that people keep pets from coming into contact with the lake’s water at the site of the spill.
As always, visitors and residents are reminded to never drink or cook with untreated water directly from any lake or reservoir, at any time. Water-borne organisms, including fecal bacteria, can cause vomiting and diarrhea.
AHS Public Health Inspectors will continue to monitor the situation. Updates will be provided as more is known.
Anyone with concerns about their health is encouraged to call Health Link at 811 or speak with a family physician. Anyone with questions or concerns about this incident in particular, or the water in their area in general, can reach out to the Environmental Public Health team: ahs.ca/eph or call 1-833-476-4743.
This advisory will remain in effect until further notice.
Alberta Health Services is the provincial health authority responsible for planning and delivering health supports and services for more than four million adults and children living in Alberta. Our mission is to provide a patient-focused, quality health system that is accessible and sustainable for all Albertans. Our current focus is on reducing emergency department wait-times, improving EMS response times, increasing access to surgeries, and improving patient flow.