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
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."
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 its 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."
The algae outbreak at Apex Park in Highbridge this week