LEVELS of toxins in two Powys lakes have reduced sufficiently that the local authority has lifted all restrictions that were temporarily put in place.

Following the identification of blue-green algae at Llandrindod Wells Lake in August and in Llangorse Lake back in May this year, sampling by Natural Resources Wales (NRW) has confirmed levels have now reduced at both sites.

Two consecutive weekly samples taken from the lakes are below the warning threshold. Therefore, NRW are now advising that the algae bloom has subsided.

Powys County Council have lifted all restrictions that were temporarily put in place while the algae levels where high, and all water-based activities can now resume.

The build-up of blue-green algae in both lakes is a natural occurrence which occurs from time to time during warm conditions. It is always possible that a blue-green algae bloom may return. Members of the public are still advised to exercise caution where there are still signs of algae in the lake (such as discolouration).

The algae produce toxins which can cause skin rashes, nausea, vomiting, stomach pains, fever and headache if swallowed. Occasionally it can cause more serious illness such as adverse effects on the liver and nervous system.

The blue-green algae (also known as cyanobacteria) occur naturally in inland waters, estuaries and seas and cannot be removed or treated. They thrive in warm conditions and are likely to come and go throughout the summer season.

Water activities on Llandrindod lake were immediately suspended following the suspected algae outbreak in mid-August.

Lakeside Boathouse made the announcement on Sunday, August 15, confirming that all watersports and fishing would be cancelled until further notice.

“Due to a suspected outbreak of blue/green algae we have been advised to close the lake to people wanting to fish or paddle as from Monday, August 16,” Lakeside Boathouse said on its Facebook page.

The outbreak of algae was confirmed days later by NRW, who tweeted: “We’ve identified blue-green algae at Llandrindod Wells lake.

“It can produce toxins that cause rashes on humans and illnesses if swallowed. It can be very dangerous to animals.

“Avoid all contact with the blue-green algae and water.”

To report any further signs of blue green algae, call Natural Resources Wales on 0300 065 3000.