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Blue Green Algae

What are blue-green algae?

There’s a wide range of blue-green algae (cyanobacteria). In fresh waters, they’re suspended within the water or attached to
rocks and other surfaces. They include singlecelled species and others whose cells are arranged in colonies and filaments. It's difficult to see individual cells, colonies and filaments, but you usually can when they’re concentrated into clumps. These clumps can look like green flakes, greenish bundles or brownish dots.


How can blue-green algae affect you?

Bloom and scum forming blue-green algae can produce toxins. Toxin producing blooms are called Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs).
These toxins can kill wild animals, farm livestock and domestic pets . In humans, they can cause rashes after skin contact and
illnesses if swallowed. Not all blue-green algae blooms and scums are toxic, but you can’t tell just by looking at them, so it’s best
to assume they are. Read through our FAQs for more information or the Environmental Protection Agency's information leaflet


Local Alerts: Monastery Dam and Sutton Mill Dam

Following notification from the Environment Agency, who have undertaken water sampling, the Council have put up notices around both dams to warn people to avoid all contact with the affected waters and ensure that children and pets are kept away. Contact with affected water can cause rashes, blisters, joint and muscle pain diarrhoea and vomiting in humans and prove lethal to livestock and pet animals if ingested. 


Further information regarding this matter can be obtained through the Environment Agency Incident hotline 0800807060 or the Council’s Environmental Health Section on 01744 676299 or visit the Environmental Agency website