More blue green algae found in Lough Erne

FERMANAGH residents have been warned of the ‘potential risk to the health of humans and animals’ after it has been confirmed that blue green algae has been detected in Lower Lough Erne.

With the weather finally warming up, there’s major concern that the continual pumping of untreated sewage will trigger toxic blue-green algae blooms on the waterways across Lough Erne.

The Northern Ireland Environment Agency was recently called to Rossigh Bay, on the outskirts of Enniskillen, after numerous reports of blue green algae in the water.


“Fermanagh and Omagh District Council has received confirmation from the Northern Ireland Environment Agency that blue green algae has been detected in the vicinity of Rossigh Bay,” said the Council.

“The Council advises residents and visitors to be aware of the potential presence of blue green algae in waterways throughout the District due to the potential risk to the health of humans and animals.”

In particular, a warming has been sent to young people and students in the county, about the potential danger that jumping into Lough Erne off jetties could have on their health.

“Blue green algae is a naturally occurring organism which can be found in loughs, rivers and ponds and is prevalent between May to September due to increased temperatures and sunlight,” said the Council.

“When in bloom it can produce toxins which pose a health risk to humans and animals.

“Therefore, it is recommended that you avoid contact with the affected water and shoreline and ensure pets and animals are also kept away.

“Blue green algae can bloom very quickly, therefore, residents and visitors are advised to exercise caution around waterways during periods of warm weather and bright sunlight.”


The issue of blue green algae, which stems from sewage spilling into Lough Erne, has been a constant issue for the people of Fermanagh.

As previously reported by the Herald, a Freedom of Information request by Erne Anglers last year revealed an estimated 250,000 tonnes of sewage is pumped into the River Erne around the town annually.

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