Toxic algae warning issued to dog walkers and visitors to Cheddar Reservoir

  Posted: 26.06.20 at 15:00 by Tim Lethaby

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If you are one of the thousands planning to soak up the sun at local beauty spots like Cheddar Reservoir this weekend, Bristol Water is warning to stay safe and stay out the water.

High levels of blue-green algae have been reported across Cheddar Reservoir, Chew Valley Lake, Litton Lake and Barrow Tanks. Algae is totally natural and tends to bloom during hot weather.

Steve Smith, head of recreations at Bristol Water, said: “Just like the wildlife is flourishing, so is the algae that naturally occurs in the region's lakes and rivers.

“It’s really important to stay safe and stay out the water. It’s never safe to swim in our lakes due to hidden machinery in the water and cold water shock, to name a few, but the presence of algae adds an extra layer of risk.

"It’s toxic to both dogs and humans.

“I am so delighted to see the lakeside full of people once again. But please enjoy it safety, stick to designated footpaths, maintain social distancing and don’t go for a dip.

"Yesterday (June 25), I spoke to more than 300 people failing to enjoy the lakes safely. Rules might seem boring, but we promise they’re there for a reason.”

Algae can make the water look bright green or brown tinged, it may also foam towards the surface. It can often be mistaken for sewage as it can have an earthy-like smell.

Algae does not affect water supplies as water goes through an intensive treatment process before it reaches your tap.

Bristol Water will be activity monitoring the reservoir over the weekend, with regular security patrols in place.

Signs of algae poisoning in dogs include vomiting, diarrhoea, seizures or fits, loss of energy, drooling or difficulty breathing.

If you think your dog has been in contact with algae, you should contact your vet immediately.

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