Warning issued over algae in Irvine Beach Park pond
Posted on 21 Aug 2018
Visitors are being advised not to let their dogs enter Irvine Beach Park pond after the discovery of blue-green algae.
A recent sample has indicated the presence of toxic Cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) which is potentially harmful to humans and animals.
As a precautionary measure, notices have been posted warning that contact with the algae should be avoided.
Toxic algae can cause deaths of livestock and dogs, water birds and fish.
The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and NHS Ayrshire & Arran Public Health Team have been advised of the situation and the warning signs will remain in place until the blue-green algae has cleared.
The Council will continue to carry out inspections and take samples from the water.
Councillor Alex Gallagher, Cabinet Member for Communities, said: “The pond area of the beach park is very popular with visitors and particularly dog walkers whose pets sometimes might enter the water.
“However, we would ask that dogs are kept on the lead and not let them enter the pond for the immediate future following the discovery of blue-green algae.
“This can cause serious health issues to both humans and animals, but symptoms can be even more severe in animals so we would urge everyone to heed the warning signs which have been erected around the pond.”
Blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) 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 — looking like blue-green paint — or when they collect on the shore line as scums or mats.
It is believed the recent hot weather has sped up growth of blue-green algae across lakes and ponds in the UK.
Effects on people coming into contact with toxic scums include skin rashes, eye irritations, vomiting and diarrhoea, fever and pains in muscles and joints.