Published:
August 30, 2017
Algae outbreak at Highbridge's Apex Park prompts warning

A safety warning has been issued to users of Apex Park in Highbridge today (Wednesday) amid concern about a potentially toxic algae bloom.

The algae has been growing across the water surface next to the main car park during the past few days, helped by the recent hot weather.

Sedgemoor District Council, which manages the park, says it's closely monitoring the material and has not yet confirmed whether the material is blue-green algae, which is toxic to animals and people.

Council spokeswoman Claire Faun told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "SDC are still awaiting scientific test results to establish the type of algal bloom at Apex Park lake. However, as a precaution, warning signs will be in place which give advice. The main thing is not to let humans or dogs swim, paddle or drink the water."

"Algae occur naturally in inland waters such as rivers, streams and lakes. When conditions are ideal for growth (i.e. a period of hot weather) 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."

"Algal blooms block sunlight from reaching other plants in the water. They also use up oxygen in the water at night which can suffocate fish and other creatures. Oxygen is also used up when the bloom decays."

"The blooms usually occur in the summer but there are no quick or easy remedies for the control of blue-green algae once they appear in a lake or pond."

"Not all blue-green algae blooms and scums are toxic but it is not possible to tell from appearance and so it’s best to assume they are harmful and take several precautions."

"Do not swim in the water, Do not let dogs in the water or let them drink it, Do not swallow the water, Avoid contact with the algae, Do not eat fish caught from the water, Observe and abide by any warning notices positioned around the water."

 

Pictured: The algae outbreak at Apex Park in Highbridge this week

 


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