BURNHAM-on-Sea firefighters stepped in to save wildlife at Apex Park last night by pumping thousands of litres of fresh water into the lake.
They released about 3,000 litres a minute to aerate the water and prevent the build-up of blue-green algae which can be harmful to both humans and animals.
A spokesperson for Sedgemoor District Council said: “Oxygen levels can drop in hot weather and during the afternoon members of the public alerted us to the fact that some fish seemed in distress and were gasping.”
The council has issue the following advice:
- Do not swim in the water
- Do not let dogs in the water or let them drink it
- Do not swallow the water
- Avoid contact with the algae
- Observe and abide by any warning notices positioned around the water
Algae occur naturally in inland waters such as rivers, streams and lakes. When conditions are ideal for growth (i.e. a period of hot weather) an algal bloom can occur.
During a bloom, the water becomes less clear and may look red, green, blue-green or greenish-brown. Scums can form during calm weather when several bloom-forming species rise to the surface. This can look like paint, mousse or small clumps.
Algal blooms block sunlight from reaching other plants in the water. They also use up oxygen in the water at night which can suffocate fish and other creatures.