16 June 2023

Be on the lookout for blooms of potentially hazardous blue-green algae in the region's lochs and rivers

Grampian Public Health are issuing a reminder to people to be on the lookout for blooms of potentially hazardous blue-green algae - also known as Cyanobacteria - in the area’s lochs and rivers.

Blue-green algae occurs naturally in lochs, ponds, reservoirs, rivers and in the sea.

While it is referred to as algae, it is actually many tiny bacteria that can’t be seen with the naked eye.

 During the warmer summer months concentrations can rise and it can form blooms which can release toxins into the water. When they clump together, they form thin wispy streaks or thick blue/green paint-like scums if the numbers are very large.

Contact with blue-green algae can have adverse health effects on humans and animals.

Where the presence of blue green algae is suspected, the advice is to avoid swimming or other water-based activities like canoeing or water-skiing.

It is very important to keep children and pets from entering or drinking any water suspected of having blue green algae as they are both particularly sensitive to its effects.

Aberdeenshire Council’s Environmental Health teams work closely with SEPA where there are reports of possible blue-green algae growth, and place warning notices for members of the public.

However, the transient nature of these blooms and the vast areas of waterways that could be affected, mean users must also be aware of possible unmarked affected areas.

For further information on blue-green-algae and how to identify it go to

You can also download the Bloomin’ Algae app and help monitor blooms across Scotland and the UK at