Burnham-On-Sea fire crew oxygenating Apex Park lake

Burnham-On-Sea Fire Station crew have this week used water jets to oxygenate the water in the lake at Highbridge’s Apex Park to try and halt the build-up of blue-green algae and save fish during this week’s heatwave.

The crew pumped around 3,000 litres of water a minute out of the lake and propelled it back in to aerate the water on Tuesday evening (July 20th), as pictured here.

The operation was launched to try and halt the build-up of blue-green algae which can be harmful to humans and animals.

Sedgemoor District Council spokeswoman Claire Faun told Burnham-On-Sea.com: “Due to the hot weather, oxygen levels can drop and during Tuesday several members of the public alerted us that some fish at Apex Park seemed in distress and were gasping.”

“Algae occurs naturally in inland waters such as rivers, streams and lakes. When conditions are ideal for growth, such as during a period of hot weather, an algal bloom can occur. During a bloom, the water becomes less clear and may look red, green, blue-green or greenish-brown.”

“Algal blooms block sunlight from reaching other plants in the water. They also use up oxygen in the water at night which can suffocate fish and other creatures. Oxygen is also used up when the bloom decays.”

Ian Hazelton, Burnham-On-Sea Fire Station Officer, told Burnham-On-Sea.com: “We were contacted by Scott Mason at Sedgemoor District Council on Tuesday to see whether we could help to oxygenate the water. We combined a training session on using water cannons with safety at height development in order to help oxygenate the water in the lake. We’re happy to help when we are able to.”

Sedgemoor District Council’s advice is to take the following precautions during blue green algae outbreaks:

  • Do not swim in the water
  • Do not let dogs in the water or let them drink it
  • Do not swallow the water
  • Avoid contact with the algae
  • Observe and abide by any warning notices positioned around the water

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