There is more bad news for the Leeds and Liverpool Canal. The shortage of water is leading to a new problem – the lack of boat movement is allowing blue green algae to spread fast on some parts of the canal.
The Lancashire Telegraph is warning people to avoid contact with canal water in East Lancashire, where the toxic algae is becoming a problem. A British Waterways spokesman told the newspaper that the lack of water movement had allowed the canal to stagnate and bacteria to grow, while high winds had helped it to spread.
BW warned that the bacteria can leave people seriously ill and advise anyone affected to see a doctor, as contact with the algae could lead to allergic reactions such as itchy eyes, skin irritation, stomach upsets and symptoms like hay fever. The algae could be fatal to dogs and other animals.
The algae results in a paint-like scum on the water surface, which can be blue, green or brown in colour and contain toxins.
At the moment the worst-affected areas are around Rishton and Barrowford, with warning signings appearing.
No signs of an opening for the closed section – BW NW are not saying but no one expects a reopening until October at the earliest.