Visitors to a popular beauty spot in Llanelli are being warned after “toxic” blue-green algae was found in the water.
Members of the public and their pets have been urged to avoid contact with the algae that has been confirmed at Sandy Water Park, as well as downstream in the River Lliedi, near Carmarthenshire Dock in Llanelli.
The blue-green algae has been described as “toxic” to both humans and animals as it can cause rashes after skin contact and illness if it is swallowed.
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Carmarthenshire Council has placed signs at Sandy Water Park warning visitors to avoid contact with the algae and not to swim in the water or swallow it, and also not to allow their pets to come into contact with the water.
A spokeswoman for the county council said: “Blue green algae has been confirmed by Natural Resources Wales at Sandy Water Park and downstream in the river Lliedi. Signage has gone up in the affected areas advising everyone to avoid contact with the algae which is toxic to humans and animals.”
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Natural Resources Wales (NRW) explained that algae occurred naturally in inland water, estuaries and the sea and was an important part of the water life cycle, but could grow into large blooms rapidly during warm weather and could produce toxins.
Visitors to the beauty spot, which is popular among dog walkers, have been advised “to take caution” as NRW explained it would continue to monitor the situation.
An environment officer at NRW said: “Our environment officers have confirmed the presence of blue-green algae at Sandy Water Park and downstream in the River Lliedi near Carmarthenshire Dock in Llanelli.
“We advise people to take caution with themselves and their pets when near a body of water with blue green algae and avoid any areas where blooms and scums are suspected. These toxins can be very dangerous to animals and in humans can cause rashes after skin contact and illness if swallowed.
“We’ll continue to monitor the situation closely alongside Carmarthenshire County Council. Once levels are returned to normal, recreational activities can resume. If you have any concerns on incidents of blue-green algal blooms or scums, please call our incident hotline: 0300 065 3000 (24 hours) or report it via our website.”
This follows a similar warning issued by Newport City Council after a suspected blue-green algae outbreak at Lliswerry pond between Lliswerry and Alway. The council warned people to have no contact with the water and not to let their pets drink or swim in the water while investigations were underway.
Visitors to Tredegar House, in Newport, were also warned not to go near the water last week due to naturally occurring blue-green algae. Members of the public were warned that the lake in the grounds of the house had been experiencing an algal bloom.
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