Watch out for blue-green algae on the water

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Published Date: 

4 Jul 2014 - 16:29

Argyll and Bute Council’s environmental health team is encouraging people to look out for signs of blue-green algae when they are using lochs and waterways in the area.

Blue-green algae growth is a natural occurrence. Warmer weather and higher water temperatures can lead to multiplication of the algae in lochs, waterways and brackish sea lochs.  It can, in some cases, cause an upset stomach or skin problems for people and animals.

Signs of higher levels of blue-green algae include a blue-green, greenish brown or dark brown colour in the water and possibly a bloom or scum, particularly  at the water’s edge.

People visiting lochs and waterways in Argyll and Bute are asked to be vigilant and check whether there are signs of blue-green algae growth in the water or around the shoreline. Where there is evidence of this, it would be sensible to avoid swimming or other water-based activities like canoeing or water skiing. Make sure that pets don’t drink or enter the water.

The council’s environmental health team works closely with SEPA where there are reports of possible blue-green algae growth, and place warning notices for members of the public advising them to take care when they and their pets are visiting the area. However the transient nature of these blooms and the vast areas of waterways that could be affected mean users must also be aware of possible unmarked affected areas.

By taking precautions and being vigilant, everyone can continue to enjoy Argyll and Bute’s lochs and waterways safely. If you are concerned, contact our Environmental Health team on 01546 605519. You can find out more information about blue green algae on our website.