Worthing Borough Council has allowed boating to resume on Brooklands Lake after the Environment Agency lowered the risk posed by the Blue Green Algae. Water quality and silt contamination tests are continuing to ensure that water quality remains acceptable.
A number of residents have contacted Worthing Borough Council, distressed at the ill health of some of the birds on Brooklands Lake. Since April the Council has monitored the water quality on a monthly basis in preparation for the summer’s use of the lake by humans and birds alike.
Of the 18 samples taken so far, two have tested positive for a Blue Green Algae which had the potential to form a harmful algal bloom. Although the mid-July testing results are still awaited, the Environment Agency has lowered the risk posed by the Blue Green Algae, indicating a minimal presence in the water.
Given this assessment, the Council has removed the blanket weed and allowed boating to resume on the lake since the water isn’t deemed to be harmful to humans. Monthly monitoring will continue throughout the summer and they expect the improved water quality will benefit wildlife visiting the lake.
If the situation changes, the appropriate action will be taken to protect the people, and animals, using the lake.
Below the surface, the Council are testing the lake’s silt to determine whether there are any contaminants present and how much it would cost to dredge the lake bed. Deeper water helps to stop harmful algal blooms forming and dredging may be an effective solution if the silt is free from contaminants. If the testing reveals that the silt is contaminated, then the Council will investigate options for its safe disposal.
Visitors to Brooklands Lake can help the wildlife thrive by limiting the amount of food given to the visiting birds, swans and ducks. Most species aren’t greedy and will only eat what they need – any mouldy leftover food is actually poisonous to many bird species (and can contribute to blue-green algal growth).
The birds and wildlife can be fed more healthily with appropriately balanced bird food available from pet shops or, alternatively, cut-up green vegetables left-over from home.
The Council will continue to keep a close eye on the lake and its migratory visitors, and will take action if there are any changes to the lake’s water quality which will inhibit human – or bird – enjoyment of the lake.