Fears of toxic algae outbreak

Officials from the Northern Ireland Environmental Agency have tested the water at Roughan Lough and issued a precautionary warning after local swimmers first raised the alarm. According to a DOE spokesperson, the department has confirmed the presence of an algae on the lough. However,…there was not enough of the algae to provide an accurate identification.

Local residents and the lough owner have been advised that if they observe any further pollution or increased algal growth they should contact NIEA who would come back and take further samples.

However, some residents claim the discolouration of the water is caused by slurry pollution.

“You can clearly see tractor tracks and slurry dripped all over the slipway – as well as a long line of scum on the water for a fair distance out”, said one local man.

“As well as that, there is a fair amount of oil as well that has been dripped into the water, I assume from the farm machinery.”

The resident added that the pollution was a health risk not just to fish and local wildlife but also to people who use the lough for swimming and recreation.

Photo caption: Fears have been raised of a toxic algae bloom on a popular local lake.

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