Loch Leven NNR - Health advice for blue-green algae bloom
We have seen great improvements in the water quality at Loch Leven over the past years, but blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) still pose health risks when they form blooms on the water surface in warm summer months. Blue-green algae are a high risk to public and animal health as they produce toxins that cause skin rashes and more severe symptoms if swallowed. Dogs are at particular risk as they often drink the water, or after swimming, lick the green scum off their coat. Severe symptoms can develop very rapidly in dogs, requiring vet treatment within minutes.
Potential health effects
- Skin rashes
- Eye irritations
- Vomiting and diarrhoea
- Fever and pains in muscles and joints
Keep safe around a bloom
- Keep children and dogs away from the water
- Keep dogs on a lead
- Carry a bottle of water for your dog to drink and use it to wash off any scum
How can I recognise a blue-green algae bloom?
Blue-green algae first develop as small green particles of 1–2 mm . If the bloom continues it can develop into more obvious green or turquoise wispy scum on the water surface [2–3].
How can you report a bloom?
If warning signs are not already displayed, you can contact the following if you suspect a bloom at Loch Leven: Environmental Health, Perth and Kinross Council, Tel: 01738 476476, Email: [email protected]. They work closely alongside SEPA, NatureScot, Loch Leven Fisheries and UKCEH, to assess any action required. You can also use the Bloomin’ Algae phone app to report a bloom and send in a photo for checking (see link below).