MONCTON, NB – Conditions are right for algae blooms in the waters of the Irishtown Nature Park and that’s prompted some caution from the city with regards to people letting their dogs drink or swim in the water.

Heather Fraser, the city’s Natural Resources Program Coordinator says there have been a couple of small algae blooms in the reservoir this summer, but so far the blue-green algae that’s turned the water pea-green in recent years has yet to make an appearance.

The city has teamed up with biologists at the Universite de Moncton to study the algae in the hopes of solving the problem.

Fraser says they’re currently testing a product called Phoslock which inhibits algae growth in drinking water…..

“When you put it on the water, the algae attaches to the Phoslock and then by weight, it takes it down and cements it in the sediment.  We’ve used it a couple of times already and have actually seen it stripping the phosphorus out of the water column… but it’s more dramatic when we have the green (algae).  So we’re actually hoping for a bloom in the next week so we can see that dramatic effect.”  says Fraser.

Fraser says Phoslock has been used in other parts of Canada but this is the first time it’s been used in New Brunswick.

She says the results are being monitored as the province is interested in seeing how well it works.