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Diss algal blooms may pose toxic danger to those who come into contact with it

Blue-green algae blooms have returned in force this summer, raising concerns about safety and fish populations.

The unpleasant-smelling algae is a common sight at Diss Mere each year, with efforts to control its spread appearing to be in vain.

Ben Wilby, chairman of Diss and District Angling Club, said: “It has been worse this year, but it’s mainly driven by the warm weather we had through April and May. The council has been great in its response and is now running the fountain 24 hours each day, which will help with the oxygen and algae.”

The mere's fountain is being run day and night to help alleviate the problem (38605504)
The mere's fountain is being run day and night to help alleviate the problem (38605504)

He added that the Environment Agency was also assisting with the issue.

Not all blue-green algae blooms release toxins, but it is impossible to tell which are safe or toxic without the use of a microscope.

In previous years, the fountain has been switched off to protect people from being sprayed with water droplets.

Dog owners are advised to keep their pets away from the water while the algae blooms are at their most prevalent.

Switching off the fountain can have adverse effects on fish stocks as the moving water helps oxygenate water in the Mere.

Mid-summer is a time when dissolved oxygen levels in the water are lower than at other times of the year.

Government advice for suspected toxic algae is to keep children and pets away, avoiding skin contact with the water or algae.

Contact with the water can cause a rash, while ingesting it can cause illness.

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