Cuerden Valley Park dog walkers warned about toxic blue-green algae found in lake

Dog walkers are being warned about toxic blue-green algae – which can be fatal to dogs – at Cuerden Valley Park.

By Matthew Calderbank
Monday, 4th July 2022, 12:22 pm

Visitors to the park – which borders Bamber Bridge, Clayton-Le-Woods and Clayton Brook– are advised to keep dogs away from the lake after greenish clumps of what appears to be blue-green algae were found around its edges.

Exposure can be fatal to dogs as its produces harmful toxins which stop a dog’s liver from functioning properly. It can also cause long term health problems in dogs that survive after drinking or swimming in algae-contaminated water.

Animal charity Blue Cross warns that types of blue-green algae can kill a dog in just 15 minutes to an hour after drinking contaminated water.

Blue-green algae can produce harmful toxins which stop a dog’s liver from functioning properly and exposure is often fatal

Cuerden Valley Park is awaiting confirmation from the Environment Agency on whether the substance is blue-green algae but is warning people to keep their dogs away from the water until further notice.

Parklands manager Martin Hathaway said: “One of our park rangers investigated the reservoir water on Friday (July 1) and we await confirmation if blue-green algae is present.

"But as a precaution we will be posting notices for all people and their dogs to keep out of the water.

“Blue-green algae can be fatal for dogs and we would strongly advise keeping them from drinking or entering the water .

Visitors to Cuerden Valley Park are advised to keep dogs away from the lake after what appears to be blue-green algae was found around its edges

“People can also be affected by algae bacteria and should not enter or swim in affected water and we ask our park users to keep away from the water until conditions change.”

What is blue-green algae?

Blue-green algae is a term used to describe a group of bacteria, called cyanobacteria.

It is not actually algae, but the organisms got this name because they often give the appearance of algae when they clump together in bodies of water.

It can look like green flakes, greenish bundles or brown dots or like a blue-green scum has appeared on the surface of the water.

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Is blue-green algae a health risk to humans?

Yes, blue-green algae can cause skin rashes, sickness, stomach pains, fever and headaches in humans. There have been some reports of more serious illnesses including liver and brain damage.

Children are at greater risk than adults and should not enter any body of water where blue-algae contamination is suspected.