Safety warning as algae invades Milngavie pond

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Potentially toxic blue-green algae has been discovered at Milngavie’s CE Centre pond - and the council is warning people to stay away from it.

East Dunbartonshire Council officials have put up signs warning those using the area not to go near the water and to keep pets away from it until it is treated with appropriate chemicals.

The algae is a naturally occurring phenomena, but it is known to multiply in warm weather and can cause irritation to the skin if it comes into contact.

Grace Irvine, the council’s director of neighbourhood services, said: “There are 13 water-bodies in East Dunbartonshire that are inspected during the summer months. Where necessary water samples are taken to the SEPA lab for analysis.

“This summer there have been three water-bodies that have tested positive for blue-green algae in the EDC area, including Milngavie Library pond. The risk at Milngavie Library pond is low as there are no angling clubs or swimmers that use it and this algae can only cause illness to humans or animals if swallowed, although it is not always harmful.”

As a precaution the council has advised people to stay away from the waters edge and to keep dogs under control.

Grace Irvine said: “We are currently making arrangements to have the pond water treated to resolve the problem.”

A spokesperson from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) said they were aware of the problem, adding: “Although blue-green algae blooms can sometimes be attributed to excessive nutrient enrichment, they can also occur as an entirely natural phenomenon in any freshwater or marine environment. We would encourage members of the public to follow any advice provided by the local authority.”