Leicestershire Live reports: The beach and aqua park at Rutland Water will be closed this weekend due to an outbreak of deadly blue-green algae.
It follows routine tests carried out by Anglian Water which revealed increased levels of the bacteria, which is dangerous for dogs in particular, in parts of the reservoir.
As a result, the water company has made the decision to restrict some activities this weekend as a precaution. The rest of the park including angling, mini golf, bike hire, and all craft-based water sports will still be open as usual – but all swimming activity in the water has been suspended for the next few days while the algae levels are monitored further.
Jake Williams, head of parks and conservation at Anglian Water said: “Algal blooms are a natural phenomenon, occurring in large bodies of water like reservoirs and rivers when the weather conditions are very warm and still – as we have seen over the last few weeks. “It is, by its very nature, difficult to prevent and control. “We are sorry for any disappointment caused to visitors who will no doubt have been looking forward to their visit to the Aqua Park and our beach this weekend however, customer safety must come first. Sailing and craft-based water sports will continue as usual and all other park activities remain open.” He added: “Please remember that dogs are not allowed in the water at the reservoir at any time of the year. Blue green algae can be toxic to dogs, so please take responsibility for their safety. “We’ll be monitoring the algae levels closely, so we can get things back up and running as soon as possible.”
Customers who have made bookings for this weekend will be refunded.
Cotswold Water Park
Regarding the management of algae in Lakes: “There are two concerns that open water-swimming presents to all, however careful they may be: blue/green algae and Weil’s disease. The Environment Agency has come to the rescue regarding the algae. They recommend that small quantities of loosely packed barley straw be submerged just below the water’s surface in lakes, rivers and ponds. As the straw begins to rot, it releases chemicals that inhibit algal growth. At Henleaze, I noticed a number of stockings stuffed with straw floating near the surface. This simple solution is remarkably effective, inexpensive and easy to apply. The straw remains effective for six months, so only needs to be replaced in the spring and autumn.” Hung Out to Dry Swimming and British Culture Page 147. A similar preventative approach is used at the Children’s Bathing Beach at Cotswold Water Park.