Bower Ponds Red Water

Written by on July 30, 2020

Sedgemoor District Council will be placing warning signs around Bower Ponds in Bridgwater as a precautionary measure as the water appears red in places.   We have contacted the Environment Agency who believe that it is some kind of algal bloom that has occurred due to all the conditions being right for that particular species to grow. They are unable to analyse a sample at the moment, to determine if it is harmful or not but it’s important for people to stay away, just in case.

Background information

Algae occur naturally in inland waters such as rivers, streams and lakes. When conditions are ideal for growth (i.e. a period of hot weather) an algal bloom can occur. During a bloom, the water becomes less clear and may look red, green, blue-green or greenish-brown. Scums can form during calm weather when several bloom forming species rise to the surface. This can look like paint, mousse or small clumps.

Algal blooms block sunlight from reaching other plants in the water. They also use up oxygen in the water at night which can suffocate fish and other creatures. Oxygen is also used up when the bloom decays.

The blooms usually occur in the summer but there are no quick or easy remedies for the control of algae once they appear in a lake or pond.

SDC’s advice is to take the following precautions:

  • Do not swim in the water
  • Do not let dogs in the water or let them drink it
  • Do not swallow the water
  • Avoid contact with the algae
  • Observe and abide by any warning notices positioned around the water

Sedgemoor FM

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