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Monday, June 17, 2024

Dangerous cyanobacteria attacked a German lake. “The toxin is very resistant”

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Late summer pampers western Germany. However, despite the full sun and the temperature oscillating around 30 degrees Celsius, it is impossible to rest at Lake Rotter in Troisdorf. The cause is poisonous blue-green algae, which led to the closure of the reservoir for lovers of water fun.

According to Rainer Meilicke, head of the health department in the Rhein-Sieg district, cyanobacteriathat attacked Lake Rotter are a serious threat to people and animals. In addition to skin irritation, accidental consumption of water from this tank may result in damage to the liver, kidneys or nervous system.

Dangerous cyanobacteria attacked a German lakeReuters

Weather and pollution

The current weather favors dangerous algae. Due to the constant sunlight and the presence of ammonium nitrate and phosphate, i.e. substances needed by cyanobacteria for continuous reproduction, the water surface is dynamically covered with organisms that are dangerous to humans.

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– Blue-green algae have always been there, they are distributed throughout the lake. The particular thing that affects them is the weather. We have constant sunlight, so the photosynthesis of cyanobacteria is stronger. We observe them on the surface, they can take in oxygen. The main substrates they need, ammonium nitrate and phosphate. It is not a run-of-river lake, but an area with rainwater and small tributaries. It is not purified by large volumes of water, such as Lake Constance, said Rainer Meilicke, head of the health department in the Rhein-Sieg district.

The doctor added that both of these dangerous substances flowed into the reservoir along with agricultural sewage. This means that humans are partly responsible for the problem.

Lake Rotter was covered with cyanobacteriaReuters

They are not easy to remove

Manually “cleaning” the lake is extremely difficult because cyanobacteria breed almost constantly. As Meilicke said, the only hope is stormwhich will be able to dispel algae or cold, which will destroy their metabolism.

– The toxin is very resistant. It will only disappear when the algae disappear. So we’re hoping for more wind, a real storm, and maybe a change in wind direction so they sail away. And if it gets cold and the metabolism of bacteria stops, we will get rid of them. So I promise that in winter, when everything freezes, there will be no threat anymore – he said.

Cyanobacteria on the lakeReuters

Main photo source: Reuters

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