Blue-green algae continues to have a presence at Llangorse Lake near Brecon, Powys County Council has confirmed. However, the council’s Environmental Health Service has now revised its previous guidance following further scientific analysis.
The council is now advising that angling and pleasure cruising can once again be undertaken on the lake. But the council is still advising against water activities where immersion in the water is likely, such as swimming, water skiing, paddling, diving and windsurfing.
Pets and livestock owners are being reminded to ensure that their animals do not come into contact with the body of the water.
The location of the algae depends on environmental conditions such as wind direction and rainfall. It also expands and contracts depending on the amount of sunlight and temperature.
The council will continue to work with the Environment Agency Wales, who will continue to test for algae in the lake and will only consider it to be free of blue green algae when two clear samples are taken at least a week apart. In the meantime, members of the public are being informed:
- not to swim in the lake water
- not to swallow the lake water
- to avoid contact with the algae
- not to eat fish caught in the lake
- not to allow pets of livestock to come into contact with the lake water
The algae produce toxins which can cause skin rashes, nausea, vomiting, stomach pains, fever and headache if swallowed. Children are at greater risk than adults of developing problems because of their comparative lower body weight.
Steve Clinton, the council’s Public Protection Manager, said: “Blue-green algae has the potential to cause illness if swallowed or even by just coming into contact with it. Blue-green algae occurs naturally in inland waters, estuaries and seas and cannot be removed or treated.”
Paul Sinnadurai, Conservation Manager for Brecon Beacons National Park Authority explained that the situation must be taken seriously. He said: “Llangors Lake is a popular destination for locals and visitors and is an important site for water recreation, walking and bird watching. It’s really important that people follow the guidance issued by Powys County Council and make sure their children and their pets avoid contact with affected water.
“Until the all-clear is issued, Brecon Beacons National Park Authority will maintain its current signage on the southern side of Llangors Lake at Llangasty.”
For further advice please contact: Environmental Health Department, Powys County Council, Neuadd Brycheiniog, Cambrian Way, Brecon, Powys, LD3 7HR. Tel no. 0845 6027037 and 01597 827467 or alternatively email: firstname.lastname@example.org