Warning over algal scum at Laggan Locks

Algal scum on the water at Laggan Locks this week. NO F35 Loch Lochy
Algal scum on the water at Laggan Locks this week. NO F35 Loch Lochy

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The public are being advised that algal scum at Laggan Locks on Loch Lochy in Lochaber should be avoided by people and pets.

The presence of blue-green algae blooms at Laggan Locks on Loch Lochy was confirmed by Highland Council Environmental Health Officers this week.

During the current period of prolonged warm weather, the chance of blue green algae – cyanobacteria – affecting water courses, particularly ponds, lochs, canals and rivers increases significantly. Sometimes the blue green algae can form blooms, which can release toxins into the water.

Contact with blue-green algae can have adverse health effects for humans and animals.

The situation is being investigated by Highland Council Environmental Health in partnership with NHS Highland Public Health and wider colleagues.

Notices have been posted next to the loch warning that contact with the algal scum should be avoided.

Blue-green algae exist in fresh waters in Great Britain and throughout the world. They are noticed when their concentrations increase to form ‘blooms’ and when they form scums – like blue-green paint – or when they collect on shorelines.

Some blue-green algae may give rise to adverse medical effects, but not always. Toxic algae have caused deaths of livestock and dogs, waterbirds and fish.

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Algal scum on the water at Laggan Locks this week.

NO F35 Loch Lochy