VISITORS to Rishton Reservoir have been warned about highly-concentrated blue green algae.

A sign has been put up warning people not to allow their children and pets to come into contact with the algae because of its hazardous nature.

Blue green algae is bacteria called Cyanophyta that gets its energy from the sun. It can produce toxins dangerous to humans, animals, and marine life.

It is thought the recent hot weather is behind the sudden bloom.

The yellow sign, put up by British Waterways, said: “High concentrations of blue green algae have been found in this water.

“Swallowing the water or algal scum can cause stomach upsets or more serious health effects.

“Contact with the water or with algal scum can cause skin or eye problems.

“It is a sensible precaution for you, your children and your animals to avoid contact with the scum and the water close to it.”

Residents took to local Facebook group, Rishton First, to discuss the problem.

Dave Bickerton said: “This is the result of eutrophication of the water; too many nutrients running off the ‘improved’ land, or too many fish stock and adding their detritus to the organic layer.

“It’s dangerous to your health and the wildlife, so that includes your dogs.” But others played down the warning.

Leah Sharples said: “Probably just leaves you with a smelly dog.”

And Brett Fielding wrote: “It’s nature, chill out.”

Coun Ken Moss said: “We are in a season for people to go swimming in reservoirs and we have already had a couple of drownings across the country, so this is another reason not to do it.

“The algae happens now and again. It’s when we get a long spell of hot weather, so it’s be expected.

“At the end of the day, it’s not a swimming pool.

“So it should not be a problem as long as people don’t go in.”