Tuesday, 11 June 2013
Also Roscommon Water Board are currently suffering from contamination in the supply with a protozoan called Cryptosporidium which causes diarrhoea and we are under an official 'boil water' notice in parts of the county, and may be using chemicals to try to stop this PLUS we have heard, to help remove the natural peaty brownness of the water. Whatever the causes, our pond warmed up a lot and Bingo! our red algal bloom. This appeared overnight a few days ago, first as a slight red tinge on the bottom sediment, but then, as the water warmed up in the heat wave, causing a haze in the water which stopped us seeing the deepest parts of the pond. It has followed a textbook course, and we have the small flecks of 'scum' you get with red alga, looking like wind blown grass clippings. Admittedly we also have actual grass clippings!
As I said, do not be alarmed. We have not killed the pond. It is not a toxic waste dump you are looking at here; It may look a little shocking and scary in the pictures but it is still very much alive with oxygen getting to all levels. We have undiminished and increasing numbers of boatmen, pond skaters, water beetles and all manner of other whizzers up and down through the depths of the pond, the plants we have started to accumulate are all healthy and alive and the geese are still happy to swim in it and drink from it. The advice is that as soon as the temperature drops, the light levels fall and the rain water starts to dilute the (suspected) phosphates or other treatment chemicals and/or the algae exhaust the supply of what ever caused the bloom, it will fade away again. For that reason we are quite relieved that the heat wave is over and it is raining again. We are certainly not about to reach for any more chemicals to add to the brew to try to 'kill' the algae, or indeed to pump out and re-start. We will keep you posted on the progress of our own private red tide.