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Mid and East Antrim Council urge dog owners to keep pets away from algae-covered pond

Pond covered in green algae

Image: Lynsey Poole

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council has issued advice to dog owners urging them not to allow their pets near an algae covered pond.

It comes after a photos of the small pond at Chaine Park in Larne were shared on social media.

The issue has been highlighted much in recent weeks over the increase of blue/green algae in a number of waterways in County Antrim and across Northern Ireland.

Antrim and Newtownabbey Council issued similar advice to the public after a toxic type of the algae was discovered at Rea's Wood on Antrim Lough Shore. The algae has been blamed after a number of dogs died after coming into contact with it.

Pond covered in green algae

A spokesperson for Mid and East Antrim Borough Council said:

“We are aware of a build up of algae in this pond and we are currently working to resolve the matter. As a precaution, we ask members of the public to keep pets away from the pond over the coming days.

"We will update further as appropriate and thank the public for their co-operation.”

Commenting recently on the increase of algal blooms, a spokesperson for the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) said:

“Algal blooms are naturally occurring events that are often associated with warmer conditions coupled with longer daylight hours, hence their appearance in spring and summer months. Although this is not always the case the blooms can be toxic and occur due to a wide range of complex interdependent factors."

The NIEA have asked members of the public to report any suspected bloom through the NIEA incident hotline on T: 0800 80 70 60 or e-mail with a photo, if possible, and details on the location of the potential bloom.

Swimmers, boaters, dog owners, anglers and anyone else spending time this summer in, or around, fresh water can now record the presence of harmful algal blooms with an app called “Bloomin’ Algae”, developed by the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (UKCEH).

Bloomin’ Algae App helps make reporting of blue-green algae easier and quicker, allowing environmental experts to respond faster and issue public warnings more efficiently.

Bloomin’ Algae App is free to download directly from Google Play or App Store. It enables users to submit a photo of an algae bloom on their mobile device, along with the location and activities taking place in the associated waters.

The submitted records are verified by trained environmental experts, enabling feedback to the app user to verify if it may be blue-green algae, or something less harmful, and appropriate next steps they should take. Records will be used to alert authorities to provide early warnings of risks to other water users.

NIEA fully support the use of the App and working with UKCEH in reporting blue-green algae blooms, and supporting local authorities to provide appropriate warnings to water users.


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