Public warned of algal bloom presence at Loch Watten, Caithness
13th August 2019
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.
Blue-green algae exist in fresh waters in Great Britain and throughout the world; they are noticed when their concentrations increase to form ‘blooms' and when they form scums - looking like blue-green paint - or when they collect on the shore line.
Some blue-green algae may give rise to adverse medical effects – but not always.
Effects on people coming into contact with toxic scums include skin rashes, eye irritations, vomiting and diarrhoea, fever and pains in muscles and joints. Toxic algae have caused deaths of livestock and dogs, waterbirds and fish. The treatment of water supplies removes blue-green algae and additional treatment may be applied to destroy or remove toxins should they arise. The actions currently taken are precautionary.
The behaviour of algae is erratic.
The level of its toxicity can fluctuate; it can appear one day, be dispersed by the wind and mixing and re-accumulate at any time.
Highland Council's Trading Standards Team is urging consumers to check whether their tumble dryer is covered by a nation-wide product recall. Safety concerns affect a wide range of models and the manufacturer is offering a brand new machine at no cost to replace the problem items.
The Highland Council is supporting this year's Challenge Poverty Week, which runs from 7-13 October 2019. The Scotland-wide campaign led by the Poverty Alliance is designed to raise awareness that poverty exists in Scotland and restricts people's ability to take part in society.
The Highland Council has once again been alerted to a Council Tax scam whereby scammers are cold calling and claiming that the resident is due a council tax refund or can have their Council Tax band reassessed upon payment of £150. Council Tax bands are determined by the Assessor and Electoral Registration Officer who is independent from the Highland Council.
Motorists are being advised that in the interests of public safety during the Loch Ness Marathon, River Ness 10k Race and River Ness 5k Fun Run charity events taking place this Sunday 6th October 2019, various roads temporary closures and restrictions will be in place. The Infirmary Bridge in Inverness will also be closed to pedestrians and cyclists on Sunday 6th October from 09:00 to 17:00.
The Highland Council has welcomed the announcement that it is to receive nearly £1.3m from the Scottish Crown Estate out of a total of £7.5m which was the net revenue from the marine assets in the 0-12 nautical mile zone for the year 2017-2018. Following the recent devolution of the management of the Crown Estate, this is the first year under these new arrangements which will enable coastal local authorities to fund coastal community benefit across the region.
Wickers are being given the chance to help transform their High Street into a more vibrant, accessible and a welcoming place for everyone to spend time in, as part of the Town Centre Regeneration. The Wick Street Design project is being delivered by Sustrans Scotland in partnership with The Highland Council, Royal Burgh of Wick Community Council and Local Councillors.
The Highland Council is taking the opportunity during Recycle Week 2019 to encourage Highland households and businesses to do their bit and remember to recycle as much as they can. Recycle Week (23- 29 September 2019) is the annual awareness week coordinated by Zero Waste Scotland, aiming to get everyone recycling more by raising awareness of the benefits and promoting easy ways to do more.
Consumer complaints about second-hand cars have topped the complaints "league table" in Scotland for many years. Common problems include mechanical issues, misdescribed cars and history.
Changes to a number of Polling Districts and Polling Places in the Highlands were agreed yesterday (Thursday 5 September 2019) at the meeting of The Highland Council. Members approved a new Scheme of Polling Districts and Polling Places that will be in place for the next four years.
As part of The Highland Council's Redesign, the Council has announced two further appointments to new posts of Executive Chief Officer (ECO). Stuart Black, Director of Development and Infrastructure, will take up the post of ECO for Transformation and Economy at the end of the month.
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