Park users are warned over poi­son in wa­ter

Wishaw Press - - FRONT PAGE - Ben Ramage

Po­lice are warn­ing dog -walk­ers and par­ents to keep their pooches and kids out of the wa­ter at Strath­clyde Park due to po­ten­tially fa­tal blue-green al­gae.

No­tices have been put in place to warn peo­ple the poi­sonous al­gae has formed in the loch due to the con­sis­tently high tem­pu­ra­tures ex­pe­ri­enced across the area in the last few weeks.

A Po­lice Scot­land Twit­ter ac­count posted a pic­ture of North La­nark­shire Coun­cil’s Wa­ter Qual­ity Is­sues poster with the state­ment:“Please don’t al­low your dogs or chil­dren in the wa­ter at Strath­clyde Park.

“Blue-green al­gae has been found which will make them ill.”

Blue-green al­gae is the com­mon term for cyanobac­te­ria, mi­cro­scopic bac­te­ria found in fresh­wa­ter lakes.

It can pro­duce tox­ins such as mi­cro­cystins and ana­tox­ins that af­fect peo­ple and pets that swim in and drink from the wa­ter.

Com­mon symp­toms in­clude vom­it­ing, di­ar­rhea, liver fail­ure, co­mas and in worst cases can lead to death.

Mother­well and Wishaw MSP Clare Adam­son said:“Al­though the warm weather is to be wel­comed, it does bring with it some health risks.

“Blue-green al­gae is a com­mon oc­cur­rence in wa­ter af­ter pro­longed pe­ri­ods of in­creased tem­per­a­ture and par­ents and guardians as well as pet own­ers should be cau­tious, not just in Strath­clyde loch but in other ponds or ar­eas of stand­ing wa­ter.”

A coun­cil spokesper­son said:“As a re­sult of the cur­rent high tem­per­a­tures, Strath­clyde Loch is af­fected by blue-green al­gae.

“This is a com­mon is­sue in ar­eas of fresh wa­ter, par­tic­u­larly dur­ing the sum­mer and we mon­i­tor the wa­ter reg­u­larly.

“When blue-green al­gae ap­pears in the wa­ter, our Wa­ter Qual­ity Pro­to­col is ac­ti­vated to man­age wa­ter-based ac­tiv­i­ties on the loch and main­tain pub­lic health.

“Swimming and other im­mer­sion sports are re­stricted and we rec­om­mend users wash their hands thor­oughly af­ter be­ing at the loch.

“We also have no­tices around the loch ad­vis­ing vis­i­tors to avoid con­tact with the wa­ter and not to al­low dogs to en­ter or drink the wa­ter.”

Strath­clyde Park is set to host row­ing and triathlon events for the Euro­pean Cham­pi­onships Glas­gow 2018 event next month.

The coun­cil are con­fi­dent they have a plan in place which will al­low the sports to go ahead safely.

The spokesper­son added:“We can use cur­tain bar­ri­ers in place at the south end of the loch to al­low the al­gae to be treated for ma­jor events. The bar­rier and treat­ment of the wa­ter will be used ahead of the row­ing and triathlon events at Glas­gow 2018 which take place in

Au­gust.”

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