'Stay away from lake at Doncaster park' - council warning as outbreak of potentially toxic and deadly algae is revealed

Doncaster Council is warning residents to stay away from the lake at Sandall Park following an outbreak of Blue Green Algae which was confirmed today.

Thursday, 9th August 2018, 4:01 pm
Updated Monday, 13th August 2018, 10:34 am
The park lake has been closed off

Visitors to Sandall Park must not go in or near the water, or let their dogs drink or go in the water, the council advised this afternoon.Although the algae in Sandall Park has not yet been confirmed as toxic, potential illnesses from toxic blue green algae include skin rashes, eye irritation, vomiting, diarrhoea, fever and muscle and joint pain have occurred in people who’ve swallowed or swam through algal scum.Pet owners should also keep their animals away from affected waters - the algae may also be toxic to animals and can cause severe illness and death.In July the park lake was sealed off after a mystery virus killed 100 ducks, and some suggestions were made that people had been feeding the ducks chicken from KFC. It was later found that they had been killed by rotting poisonous vegetation. Coun Chris McGuinness, Doncaster Council cabinet member for the environment, said today: “Since the outbreak was identified we have put up warning signs at Sandall Park as a precautionary measure and have been on site to speak visitors about the dangers of going in the water.“It has not yet been confirmed if the algae in Sandall Park is toxic so we are currently taking full precautions and are working closely with the Environment Agency to investigate further.“It is vitally important that visitors to the park do not enter the lake or let their dogs drink or go in the water. We do not want to cause unnecessary alarm, however it is better to be safe than sorry.”A spokesperson for the Environment Agency, said: “Following a period of warm, calm weather, it is not uncommon to see Blue Green Algae. The algae can produce toxins which are harmful to animals and can cause rashes and illness in humans. “You can’t tell if an algal bloom is toxic just by looking at it, so it’s safest to assume it is. Keep pets and children away from the water and avoid skin contact with the water or algae." If members of the public are concerned about any algae they can report it to the Environment Agency incident hotline on 0800 80 70 60.”

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