LAC LA BICHE — A fourth beach has been added to a growing list of Lac La Biche Lake areas found to have elevated numbers of fecal matter.
On Aug. 12, Alberta Health Services sent out an advisory stating there were "elevated levels of fecal bacteria currently present in the water of Lac La Biche Lake at Golden Sands Beach."
A week prior, AHS released two similar advisories for McGrane Beach on Aug. 5 and McArthur Beach on Aug. 6.
On July 22, an advisory was issued for Campers' Beach at Sir Winston Churchill Park for the same reason.
AHS is advising the public not to swim or wade at all four beaches, effective immediately.
Both advisories contained the same wording, stating there were elevated levels of fecal bacteria in the lake water at both beach locations. At current levels, gastrointestinal illness may result from ingestion of the water at both areas of the lake.
"As well, there is the possibility of skin, ear and eye infections with water contact," according to AHS.
"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 Environmental Public Health officers will continue to monitor the water at all of the affected beaches.
Lac La Biche lake also has a current blue-green algae advisory in place. That advisory was issued on July 21 and is still active according to AHS.
*With files from Janice Huser