Residents urged to be aware of blue-green algae dangers

High concentrations identified at local reservoirs

Blue green algae warning

Published: 25 August 2021

Residents are being urged to be take sensible precautions around some of East Renfrewshire's reservoirs due to high levels of potentially dangerous blue-green algae.

High concentrations of the algae have been identified at White Loch, near Newton Mearns, along with Balgray and other reservoirs within Dams to Darnley Country Park.

The tiny organisms occur naturally in lochs, ponds and reservoirs, with high concentrations of algae commonly forming during periods of prolonged hot weather.

The algae will naturally disperse over time, but due to the current high-levels it means that coming into contact with the water could cause stomach upsets, skin problems or more serious health effects for people and animals.

John Davidson, the Council's Environmental Health Manager, said: 'The current levels of blue-green algae at these locations mean that residents must be sensible when visiting and avoid contact with the scum and the water close to it. We are advising the public, especially people undertaking water sports, anglers and dog owners, to be alert to the algae. The toxins released by blue-green algae can cause people to have skin rashes, eye irritation, vomiting, diarrhoea, fever, and joint and muscle pain if ingested or if it comes into contact with skin. Illness to animals which come into contact with it, either through drinking contaminated water or swallowing quantities of scum, or shoreline matter or crust, can be more severe.'

If blue-green algae is suspected in any other areas of water, people and animals should avoid direct contact and report it by emailing

Last modified on 3 September 2021