Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Water warning at Pembrokeshire algae resevoir

Pembrokeshire County Council is warning people to keep out of the water after blue-green algae was discovered at a popular reservoir in the county.

The Council's Public Protection Division is advising people not to take part in any activities where immersion in water is likely at Llys y Fran.
Warning notices are up at the site and Environment Agency Wales is monitoring the situation.

The blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) occurs naturally in inland waters, estuaries and seas and cannot be removed or treated. It thrives in warm conditions so its presence is likely to come and go depending on the weather conditions. But it is not expected to clear until the weather gets noticeably colder.

The algae produce toxins, which can cause skin rashes, nausea, vomiting, stomach pains, fever and headache if swallowed. Occasionally it can cause more serious illness such as liver and brain damage.

Children are at greater risk than adults of developing problems because of their comparative lower body weight.

Llys y Fran County Park is open as usual for people to enjoy, however, in order to protect public health the restrictive advice has been issued regarding the reservoir.

The advice to members of the public is:

  • not to swim in the reservoir
  • not to swallow the reservoir water
  • to avoid contact with the algae
  • not to eat fish caught in the reservoir
  • not to allow pets or livestock to come into contact with the reservoir water as it has the potential to be fatal to animals
  • to observe and abide by notices positioned at the reservoir


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