Public warned of algal bloom presence at Loch Watten, Caithness

The Highland Council is warning the public of the presence of an algal bloom at Loch Watten, Caithness, following an examination of sample water on Monday (12/08/19).

As a precautionary measure, environmental health have posted notices next to the water body, warning that contact with the algal scum or material should be avoided.  Adjoining landowners and fishing interests have been advised of the situation as have NHS Highland and SEPA.  

Guidelines for safe-practice in managing recreational waters published by the World Health Organisation indicate that during formation of cyanobacterial scum there may be potential for acute poisoning, long-term illness with some cyanobacterial species, and short-term adverse health outcomes, e.g. skin irritations, gastrointestinal illness.

Posters erected in the Loch Watten area warn the public that:

  • Swallowing the water or algal scum can cause stomach upsets or more serious health effects.
  • Contact with the water or algal scum can cause skin problems.
  • It is a sensible precaution for you, your children and your animals to avoid contact with the scum and water close to it.
13 Aug 2019