Home   News   Article

Health alert after algae found in Inverness pond water

By Neil MacPhail

Register for free to read more of the latest local news. It's easy and will only take a moment.

Click here to sign up to our free newsletters!
An algal bloom warning sign.
An algal bloom warning sign.

Highland Council is urging the public to be cautious after environmental health officers detected blue-green algae in Castle Heather Park pond in Inverness.

During periods of warm weather, there is a risk of blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) affecting water courses, particularly ponds, lochs and canals as well as rivers.

This algae can form blooms which can release toxins into the water.

Samples taken from the pond in Castle Heather Park, Inverness have indicated the presence of blue-green algae.

Contact with blue-green algae can have health effects for humans and animals, therefore the situation is being investigated by the council environmental health department in partnership with NHS Highland public health department and wider colleagues.

As a precautionary measure, contact with the algal scum should be avoided by people and pets.

Warning notices will be posted at the park urging people to avoid contact with the algal scum.

The “blooms” form scums – looking like blue-green paint – when they collect on the waters' edge.

Some blue-green algae may give rise to adverse medical effects – but not always.

Effects on people coming into contact with toxic scums include skin rashes, eye irritation, vomiting and diarrhoea, fever and pains in muscles and joints. Toxic algae have caused deaths of livestock and dogs, waterbirds and fish. The actions currently taken are precautionary.

You can find more information about blue-green algae at Public Health Scotland's website.

Do you want to respond to this article? If so, click here to submit your thoughts and they may be published in print.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies - Learn More