Public urged to report potentially hazardous blue-green algae blooms
24 April 2018
NHS Tayside is issuing a reminder to people in Dundee, Angus and Perth & Kinross to be on the lookout for blooms of potentially hazardous blue-green algae in the region’s waterways.
Blue-green algae are tiny organisms which develop naturally in lochs, ponds, reservoirs, rivers and in the sea. They are a common seasonal occurrence and waters which have been affected by agricultural, domestic or industrial discharges are most at risk of developing the algae.
The algae can multiply during the summer months and discolour the water which then appears green, blue-green or greenish brown and, occasionally, they clump together to form a scum on the surface of the water. At the shoreline, algal crusts may appear brown to almost black in colour.
People and animals can be affected as a result of direct contact with water affected by blue-green algae and NHS Tayside is advising the public, especially people undertaking water sports, anglers and dog owners, to be alert to the blooms as temperatures rise.
NHS Tayside reassured the public that public water supplies are always treated to prevent any harmful effects to health due to blue-green algae.
Where monitoring reveals higher than acceptable levels of algal bloom, warning notices will be posted at the affected waterways.
Anyone who finds a loch, pond or river which they suspect is affected by blue-green algae and which is not displaying a warning sign, should contact their local environmental health service.
Source: NHS Tayside, 19 April 2018