A reservoir in East Lancashire has been hit by a ‘stay out of water’ warning over blue-green algae fears.
Pendle Council said Slipper Hill Reservoir, near Foulridge, has been found to contain the algae which ‘can be harmful to humans and is highly toxic to animals’. They are urging people who visit the area to keep pets and children away from the way.
A spokesperson said: “The Environment Agency has asked the owner to regularly inspect the water and take the necessary precautions.”
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The council shared the warning on social media along with an advice poster from the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology. The institute said that contact with blue-green algae can cause skin rashes, eye irritations, vomiting and diarrhoea, fever and pains in muscles and joints.
They said: “Blue-green algae pose risks to public and animal health when they form blooms and scums in freshwaters in warm summer months. They produce toxins that may cause skin rashes and more severe symptoms if swallowed.
“Dogs are at risk if they drink the water, or lick their coat after swimming, with severe symptoms requiring very rapid vet treatment. If you, or your pet, become unwell after contact with water that may be contaminated with blue-green algae, we’d recommend you seek immediate medical or veterinary advice.”
The council also shared a link to the government’s website with advice for the public and landowners over algal blooms. It said: “Algae occur naturally in inland waters such as rivers, streams and lakes.
“When conditions are ideal for growth, an algal bloom can occur. During a bloom, the water becomes less clear and may look green, blue-green or greenish-brown.
“Scums can form during calm weather when several bloom forming species rise to the surface. This can look like paint, mousse or small clumps.
“Cyanobacteria or ‘blue-green algae’, a type of blooming algae, can produce toxins. These toxins can kill wild animals, livestock and pets.
“They can also harm people, producing rashes after skin contact and illnesses if swallowed. You can’t tell if an algal bloom in the sea, a lake or river is toxic just by looking at it, so it’s safest to assume it is.
“Keep pets and children away from the water and avoid skin contact with the water or algae.”
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