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Snowdonia-Active News Item

Blue Green Algae Latest 15/10/2009

In a meeting facilitated by Snowdonia-Active, several businesses and local education centres directly affected by Llyn Padarn's ongoing blue green algae bloom, met with the Environment Agency Wales (EAW). It was made clear to EAW that the presence of blue green algae in the concentrations experienced this summer represented a significant business risk to several businesses based on or around the lake shore in the Llanberis valley.

Lakeside businesses reported a downturn in business of up to 19% and have had to absorb considerable additional costs associated with travel to alternative venues. Outdoor activity providers travelling away from their preferred venue on Llyn Padarn has had the knock-on effect of increasing pressure on 'water activity' sites unaffected by blue green algae.

Anxiety was expressed at the meeting that the timescale outlined by the EAW, for the monitoring and evidence gathering necessary to take action on the cause of the algae bloom, was far too long. Following the meeting, Surf-Lines Director, Nick Cunliffe, said: "It is clear that phosphate levels have been rising as a result of pollution entering the lake and that these raised levels will make further algal blooms a likely occurrence. The suggested 2-3 year timescale required to establish causal links with possible polluters is unacceptable. As a local business owner I am highly concerned by the threat that continued algal blooms pose to our business activities."

Mr Cunliffe added: "It is scarcely credible that Llyn Padarn, as an SSSI and a wonderful natural resource in the Llanberis valley, is exposed to any pollution of any type. We should be promoting the pristine waters of Snowdonia, not explaining away the presence of a 'toxic lake' in an otherwise beautiful environment." A further meeting has been arranged for later in the month.

There is a problem with nutrient rich water entering the lake. Nutrient levels have risen slightly over the past year; one of the nutrient inputs is sewage effluent from Llanberis. A source of phosphate in sewage is detergent. EAW recently ran a campaign asking Llanberis residents to reduce their use of detergents. Meic Davies, of Environment Agency Wales, was quoted on the BBC site asking the people of Llanberis to help "because this is very much about improving the quality of their environment and helping the local economy".

Topic: Blue Green Algae in Snowdonia, Llyn Padarn.

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