Red alert over toxic algae

Custodians of East Anglia's lakes and freshwater bodies were placed on red alert following fears of an early outbreak of a toxic algae.

Custodians of East Anglia's lakes and freshwater bodies were placed on red alert following fears of an early outbreak of a toxic algae.

The warm, sunny weather maybe good news for holidaymakers and the tourist industry. But the conditions have also provided perfect breeding conditions for blue-green algae.

Town officials warned that Diss Mere, which historically is a summertime victim of the harmful spore, was already suffering as a result of the unseasonably sunny weather in April and May.

The Environment Agency also urged the owners of water bodies across the East to be on the look out for the algae, which can prove fatal to dogs and fish if it blooms out of control.


You may also want to watch:


The toxic spore, which is a regular summertime problem at the mere in Diss, can also cause skin irritation and stomach upsets in humans.

Diss Town Council launched an education campaign earlier this year to try and stop residents from feeding bread to the ducks, which can fuel blue-green algae blooms.

Most Read

But outgoing mayor Simon Olander told councillors on Wednesday night that the mere had already turned a 'pea soup' colour and the water visibility was poor.

Officials have made a fresh request to townsfolk and visitors to desist from feeding bread to the ducks and have placed new signs around the mere advising them of the dangers.

The town's last blue green algae bloom was in August as a result of a potent combination of warm weather, sunlight, and increased nutrient levels.

New Diss mayor Jane Trippett-Jones added: 'It is unusual for it to be that green this time of the year, but we have had considerable weather. Blue-green algae is a problem with a lot of other water bodies in Norfolk at the moment.'

A spokeswoman for the Environment Agency said the authority was not aware of any other reports in the region, but warned people to be on their guard.

'This is the first we have become aware of blue-green algae this year, but we are not surprised because the weather conditions are perfect for it at the moment. We would urge people to keep their dogs out of the water if they do find it,' she said.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter