We have always known that the nature of the lake means it is prone to Blue/Green algae in periods of hot weather though the tests carried out last week by MDC/the Environment Agency are the first time there has been positive confirmation that toxins from algae were above recommended safe levels. This is a purely natural occurrence that is common in many ponds and lakes at this time of year. Levels of toxins have undoubtedly been at this or higher levels in previous years and will also occur in future summers. The particular algae found are not types that usually form scums.
We have put bales of barley straw in the lake and also are increasing aeration with a pump, both measures should help alleviate the problem. Notices are displayed around the Lake to alert all users and members of the public of the risks. The health risks associated with prolonged contact with these toxins are well known and to minimise risks to lake users we have revisited our lake guidelines for members. These are not just a temporary measure but will apply at all times from hereon as there is always a risk of this in periods of hot weather.
• Avoid voluntary immersion in the water so no swimming or "fun" capsizes to minimise risk of submersion of your head.
• When sailing or undertaking any other activity likely to involve accidental water immersion wear clothing that is close fitting in the openings. The use of wet suits for water sports may result in a greater risk of rashes because potentially contaminated water trapped inside the wet suit will be in contact with the skin for long periods of time.
• After coming ashore, shower or wash yourself down & wash and dry all clothing and equipment after contact with the water.
• If you have been using the lake ensure that you wash your hands thoroughly with hot water before you eat.
In line with guidance from the RYA for teaching centres & clubs , parents of Cadet members will be asked to sign a consent form for Cadet week to consent to their offspring using the Lake