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.
One hundred and seventeen (117) probationer teachers were recently welcomed to Highland at an Induction course held at Millburn Academy in Inverness. The probationer teachers' induction day is the first of a number of professional learning events throughout the year specifically arranged to support probationer teacher induction and their ongoing professional learning.
Measures to be put in place to cut down amount of construction and demolition waste collected at Household Waste Recycling Centres. The Highland Council will be putting measures in place to restrict the amount of construction and demolition waste bought to its network of 21 Household Waste Recycling Centres.
Highland Council today (15 August 2019) launched a consultation on a potential Highland Transient Visitor Levy. The Council has not yet made a decision on whether to implement a Transient Visitor Levy (TVL), also known as a Tourist Tax.
An officer in the Highland Council's Trading Standards team has won a UK award for her work on anti-counterfeiting and protecting consumers. Lynn Foster was presented with the Dave Hankinson Memorial Award for Individual Excellence by Phil Lewis, Director General of the Anti-Counterfeiting Group (ACG).
IoT Scotland has welcomed its first customer after The Highland Council selected the open access network to provide IoT connectivity for an innovative and transformational water monitoring contract. The Highland Council awarded a three-year contract to Dundee-based IoT Scotland partner M2M Cloud to roll out their Neptune water-monitoring sensor technology to over one hundred buildings across their estate.
The Highland Council, in partnership with Adaptation Scotland, have launched a survey asking local communities and businesses to share their experiences about how they have been affected by severe weather and climate change over the past few years. While the impacts of climate change and extreme weather are already being felt across the Highlands, from damage to infrastructure, to disruption of vital services and a shift in growing seasons, more information is needed about how local communities and businesses are being affected.
Highland S4 pupils have recorded excellent levels of National 5 awards with 45% pupils in S5 achieving 5 National 5s - an increase of 6% since 2015 and an increase of 2.5 % compared to last year. There has also been a significant increase (8%) in the number of passes in Higher English - 94% passed this year compared to 86% last year.
As part of The Highland Council's re-design, the Council has made three appointments to new posts of Executive Chief Officer. Taking up appointment on 13 August 2019 is Liz Denovan , Executive Chief Officer - Resources and Finance; Carron McDiarmid, Executive Chief Officer - Customer and Communities takes up post in September and Lesley Weber starts on 25 September as Executive Chief Officer - Health and Social Care.
Highland Council's Environmental Health team have identified raised levels of naturally occurring algal toxins following routine monitoring in coastal waters at Loch Glencoul, Kylesku area. Eating shellfish such as cockles, mussels, oysters or razor fish from these areas may pose a health risk arising from the consumption of these algal toxins.
Highland Council's Environmental Health team has identified raised levels of naturally occurring algal toxins following routine monitoring in coastal waters at Loch Eishort. Eating shellfish such as mussels, cockles, oysters or razor fish from these areas may pose a health risk arising from the consumption of these algal toxins.
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