Algal bloom threatens Earlswood Lakes?

THRIVING algae are posing a danger to Earlswood Lakes, where dead fish have been reported. Dog walkers have been advised to keep their pets out of the water due to the flourishing plants which are turning areas of the water green and brown.

Residents have reported sightings of dead fish at the popular beauty spot in the last week and an investigation by Reigate and Banstead Borough Council uncovered “algal bloom” – a rapid growth of algae in the water which can be dangerous to other life forms.

Council spokeswoman Claire Lapping told the Mirror officers only found one dead fish “so it may well have died of old age”.

But a post on the council’s countryside Facebook page RB BC confirmed the presence of algal bloom in the lakes, which is reportedly a long-standing problem.

The post said: “We have just had a report of lots of dead fish in the upper lake (Boating Lake) at Earlswood, as well as a nasty smell and an algal bloom.

“I immediately inspected the area and did find the remains of the algal bloom that has unfortunately been there for a while but thankfully no dead fish.

“There was a slight ‘pondy’ smell but the major nasty smell is from the sewage works. It is made worse by the still conditions.”

Algal bloom is the rapid increase of algae in a water system. It’s sometimes caused by an excess of nutrients in the water. The rapid growth of algae can kill off other plants and organisms as they are starved of oxygen. These dead organisms then break down and provide nourishment for the flourishing algae.

Ian Wright, countryside manager, said: “On the upper lake we are experiencing the remains of algal bloom, caused by the continuing warm weather, which we are monitoring.

“We would therefore advise that visitors do not allow their dogs into the lake, particularly as it also disturbs the wildfowl.”

He added they found no other dead fish.


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