Government of New Brunswick

Cyanobacteria also known as blue-green algae or more commonly as “pond scum” are bacteria that occur naturally in surface waters and have photosynthetic capability, meaning they utilize the suns energy to produce sugar which they use for growth. This process is used by plants, algae and some bacteria.  First recognized for their blue-green colour, cyanobacteria species identified since range in colour from shades of blue, olive-green to red, and are sometimes described as looking like “pea soup”.

Cyanobacteria are made up of cells which can house poisons called cyanobacterial toxins which can impact human health.  These toxins can also be toxic to pets and livestock if ingested. See the NB Department of Health’s Q&A’s on appropriate water uses for lakes that are affected by an algae bloom.