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Thursday, 23 October 2014

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Toxic algae found in Windermere water

Blue green algae which can be fatal to animals has been detected in Windermere water

The Environment Agency made the discovery during routine water testing.

Evidence revealed waters close to Lakeside YMCA (SD 37540 89840)had a blue-green algal bloom or the potential for one to form.

Inspectors warned anyone using lakes, rivers and reservoirs should treat all blue-green algae blooms with caution and contact with the algae and associated algal scum should be avoided as skin rashes may occur if affected water is in direct contact with the skin and illness may occur if the water is swallowed.

South Lakeland District Council has erected signs at bathing areas of the lake informing people about the presence of blue-green algae.

SLDC public protection manager Phil Greenup said: “Blue-green algae can potentially make people feel quite ill if swallowed or even by just swimming in it.

“We want the public to be aware of the affects and are asking people to be extra careful and vigilant when using the lakes and rivers for recreational purposes during the summer months.

“Farmers and pet owners should also prevent livestock and animals coming into contact or drinking the affected water, as it can sometimes prove fatal for animals.

“People should observe any notices near affected areas and avoid contact or drinking water from areas identified.”

Many standing waters are vulnerable to problems with blue-green algae, typically between June and November.

All blue-green algae blooms should be assumed to be toxic and the blooms vary in colour from discoloured green, blue-green, greenish brown, or reddish brown. The blooms do subside and this is a temporary situation.

Further information about blue-green algae can be found on the Environment Agency’s website at www.environment-agency.gov.uk

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