Blue Green Algae
BLUE-GREEN ALGAE RISK STATEMENT PUBLISHED BY THE GPC June 2022
Participants are advised that blue-green algae is present in the waters.
On occasions, growth of the blue-green algae becomes excessive and can cause blooms and scum. Bloom and scum-forming algae are capable of producing toxins which can be harmful to people and fatal to animals.
We wish to advise you of the following:
1. Every person wishing to use the potentially affected water may be required to sign this Risk Statement after reading the RYA guidance at least once in each season.
2. When water is affected by algal scum the following categories are at particular risk: paddlers, trainees doing capsize drill, swimmers (including immersion sports), small children, pregnant women, domestic animals (if allowed to play in the water or to drink it).
3. On a lee shore on a windy day algae and scum can be found at some distance from the water. Keep animals and children away from these areas.
4. Participants likely to enter the water should wear clothing which is close fitting at the wrists, neck and ankles, such as a wetsuit, along with boots over the clothing/wetsuit to minimise contact with algae or algal scum.
5. Minimal time should be spent in shallow water launching and recovering equipment. Launching/recovery should be in areas away from thick aggregations of algae or scum.
6. Consult the notice board before participating for detailed information as to areas of the water to be particularly avoided.
7. After coming ashore participants should hose themselves down to avoid bringing scum and algae into the changing rooms. All clothing should be washed and thoroughly dried on returning home. Do not store wet or damp clothes.
8. If taking part in working parties in or close to the water do not strip off, even on hot days; to do so increases the risk of illness.
9. Avoid horseplay in or near the water.
BY LAUNCHING YOUR EQUIPMENT YOU ARE ACCEPTING RESPONSIBILITY FOR EXPOSING YOURSELF TO SUCH RISKS WHILST TAKING PART IN ACTIVITIES IN AND AROUND THE WATER AGREEING TO COMPLY AT ALL TIMES WITH THE INSTRUCTIONS OF THE CLUB AND ITS OFFICERS. ACCEPTING RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANY INJURY, DAMAGE OR LOSS CAUSED BY YOUR OWN NEGLIGENCE.
USE OF THE LAKE
We continually monitor the lake for evidence of Algal blooms, particularly during heat waves. The latest risk assessed position by the GPC and SC is to give members the choice as to whether to use the water.
When appropriate Risk Statements will be posted at each entry point of the lake, this is advising you that if you want to launch your boat, paddleboard, kayak you are accepting the risk responsibility. (Please read these)
It is advisable to follow the steps below as these are considered best practice for all lake users.
If you enter the water for any reason take a shower and thoroughly wash all clothing as soon as is possible
Once you come off the water please wash your equipment down, to ensure that the bacteria is washed off
Final please make sure you wash your hands before eating or contacting anyone/anything else
The bacteria that creates Blue Green Algae is highly dangerous to animals. When signs indicating the presence of Blue Green Algae DO NOT let your dog in the water or drink from the water - Please keep them on leads at all times.
WHAT IS IT?
Blue Green Algae is caused by bacteria that create toxins that are harmful to humans/animals. The amount of toxins varies on underlying conditions and cannot easily be determined. The tendency is for the blooms on the top of the water to be driven by wind into localised patches. For example, on a northerly breeze the blooms will blow into our launching areas, considerably increasing the risk to the lakes users.
Current guidance from the RYA lists the risk levels as;
Swimmers, paddlers, children playing at the water's edge, dogs and other animals
Windsurfers, who might enter the water or be blown into areas of algal bloom, generally less competent water users
Dinghy sailors, canoeists (we read Paddlers of all varieties) or windsurfers competent for the prevailing conditions
Other boat users or fishermen fishing from a boat or pontoon
BALES OF BARLEY
Over the years the club has used bales of barley to reduce the Blue Green Algae levels. Bales will be put into the lake to help the natural ecological balance and try to mitigate the occurence of blooms.