Teesside Lake Pollution Alert – Here’s What You Need to Know

Posted in: Global Water News, Health effects, Water Contamination
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TOXIC: Hemlington Lake in Middlesbrough where a potentially toxic blue-green algae has been found. Photo credit: Darlington and Stockton Times

Article courtesy of Lucy Richardson | May 22, 2015 | Darlington and Stockton Times | Shared as educational material

SEWAGE and blue-green algae discovered at separate lakes in the same town have led to warnings being issued over potential water contamination.

Notices have been put up at the lake at Stewart Park and Gunnergate Lake at Coulby Newham following reports of a ‘milky’ substance on the surface of the water at both locations.

A spokesman for Northumbrian Water said: “It is thought that some homes in the area properties in the area may have wrongly plumbed domestic appliances such as toilets, baths or sinks into the surface water sewer network which enters the lake at Stewart Park.

Extensive survey work is necessary to identify wrongly connected pipes and we will then work with customers to ensure faults are rectified as soon as possible.

Middlesbrough Council confirmed it was investigating the causes and would continue to work with Northumbrian Water to ensure it was resolved.

“In the meantime we apologise to visitors for any inconvenience, and will endeavour to restore the lakes to their normal condition as soon as possible,” a spokesman added.

And at Hemlington Lake a blue-green algae was noticed last week which could potentially kill animals.

Research has shown that around half of all blooms of the algae produce toxins which can be harmful to humans and some animals if consumed in significant quantities.

These toxins can kill wild animals, farm livestock and domestic pets, while in humans they can cause rashes after skin contact and if swallowed can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, fever and muscle and joint pain.

Warning notices have been erected and visitors are advised to keep people and pets out of the potentially hazardous water at all the affected locations.

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