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Public Safety advice - Blue-green algae on Ullswater

Enviironment Agency Blue-green algae leafletThe Environment Agency is asking the public to be aware of blue-green algae on Ullswater which has appeared during the current hot weather. Current conditions are right for the formation of the algae which can be harmful to both humans and animals.

The Environment Agency has contacted landowners around Ullswater advising them to display warning notices to notify the public of the health risks.

The Environment Agency are continuing to sample water from Ullswater to continually monitor the situation and have asked members of the public who see blue-green-algae to contact them via their incident hotline number: 0800 80 70 60 (24 hours).

Public Safety Advice

Eden District Council’s Environmental Health team advise against the following until further notice:

  • Swimming, bathing or drinking water from Ullswater
  • Allowing animals to swim, bathe or drink water from Ullswater

How blue-green algae can affect humans

People who have swam through or swallowed algal scum can suffer from the following conditions: skin rashes, eye irritation, vomiting, diarrhoea, fever and muscle and joint pain. Please note these haven’t led to long-term effects or death but, in some cases, the illnesses were severe. So please consult a doctor if you are affected and say that you have been in contact with blue-green algae on Ullswater.

How blue-green algae can affect animals

The toxins the algae may produce are also toxic to animals and can cause severe illness and death. Farmers and pet owners should keep their animals away from affected waters. If you have concerns that your animal/s have been affected by the algae contact a Vet.

Health and safety advice for businesses and event organisers

If you are a business or community organisation who operate or have an event planned around Ullswater and need health and safety advice, contact your Health and Safety Enforcement Authority. This can be the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) www.hse.gov.uk or the Council’s Environmental Health Team on 01768 817817.

Visitor information

Whilst visitors need to be aware currently of the presence of blue green algae in Ullswater and the potential effects that it can have, Ullswater is a fantastic place to visit and enjoy in this spell of great weather with its outstanding natural beauty. With a fantastic range of attractions, lovely places to stay and a wide range of eating experiences on offer- find out more at www.visiteden.co.uk or visit the local Tourist Information Centres.

For more information

Read about blue-green algae on the Environment Agency website

ENDS