St Helens Council is warning residents and visitors to the area to take care after potentially harmful blue-green algae blooms were discovered on Monastery Dam and Sutton Mill Dam.
Following notification from the Environment Agency, which has undertaken water sampling, the council has installed notices around both dams, warning people to avoid all contact with the affected waters and ensure that children and pets are kept away.
Contact with affected water can cause rashes, blisters, joint and muscle pain, diarrhoea and vomiting in humans and prove lethal to livestock and pets if ingested.
As far as the council is aware, only these two bodies of water have been affected by the algae.
Chief Environmental Health Officer Tony Smith said: “We want the public to be aware of the effects of contact with the algae and are asking people to stay away from these waters until the bloom has subsided naturally.
He added: “The duration can depend on a number of varying factors, including temperature and weather conditions.
closely with the Environment Agency to monitor the situation and will update residents appropriately.”
For further information visit www.sthelens.gov.uk/algae or contact the Environment Agency Incident hotline 0800 807060 or the council’s Environmental Health Section on 01744 676299.