Pirate FM News 3 minute read

Algal bloom 'most likely cause' as sea turns orange

Algal bloom 'most likely cause' as sea turns orange

Published by Emma Carton at 8:14am 25th October 2019. (Updated at 11:29am 26th October 2019)

The Environment Agency has revealed the most likely cause of what turned the sea orange in Cornwall.

Officials think an algal bloom could have sparked the change in the water around St Austell Bay.

They have launched an investigation after several swimmers reported suffering skin rashes.

For now, bathers, children and pets are being urged to avoid coming into contact with the discoloured water.

Orange water
The Environment Agency has revealed that an algal bloom is the most likely cause of Cornwall's orange sea. Photo: Debby Beale Lote

What is the advice from the Environment Agency?

Samples are going to be taken and analysed after people reported skin irritation.

"The Environment Agency was alerted to reports of orange staining at various beaches in St Austell Bay in Cornwall yesterday afternoon (23 October). 

"One bather reported mild skin irritation after coming into contact with the discolouration. 

"The likely cause is an algal bloom, but this cannot be confirmed until a sample is taken and analysed. 

"We are working with Cornwall Port Health Authority and the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) to confirm what the orange discolouration is caused by. 

"In the meantime, we advise bathers, children and pets to avoid contact with discoloured water."

Environment Agency

Orange water
Officials are urging bathers, pets and children to avoid contact with discoloured water around St Austell Bay. Photo: Debby Beale Lote

What is the response from South West Water?

“Our pumping station is operating correctly and there is no evidence of a blockage or flooding from our network.

“We would encourage members of the public who see something they think may be sewage pollution to contact us as soon as possible on 0344 346 2020 so that we can investigate.

The Environment Agency also has an incident hotline: 0800 80 70 60.

“We take reports of pollution incidents seriously and will investigate within two hours to ensure any impact on the environment is minimised.”

South West Water

Contact Us

If you would like to submit a query or provide more information on this story please get in touch below.

Please wait...
  • Up to 3 JPG or PNG images, 2MB max size
  • We will always endeavour to credit you when we publish your pictures.
  • By uploading you are agreeing to this non-exclusive reuse, royalty-free, across all Pirate FM platforms, which extends to our partner broadcasters.
  • You retain copyright to all images.
  • If you would like to send us a video, please upload to YouTube or similar and paste the video URL into the message above.
Email Icon

Sign up for exclusive news, competitions and offers.
Proper Local News updates from Pirate FM

Suggested articles

Norway landslide sweeps dog and eight houses into sea

World News: A courageous dog was swept into the sea with eight houses during a powerful landslide in Norway.

Coronavirus: Reopening schools 'unlikely' to cause a spike in COVID-19 infections, say scientists

National News: Reopening schools in England is unlikely to cause a spike in coronavirus infections unless social distancing measures for adults are also relaxed significantly, say infectious disease experts at Warwick University.

Newer articles

The scam targeting homes with an 01736 area code

Cornwall News: Police have issued a warning over fake calls from HMRC

Fire breaks out at thatched roof pub in Cornwall

Cornwall News: Crews from six towns are on the scene in Mullion

Older articles

Risk of flash flooding as torrential rain hits Cornwall

Cornwall News: That Met Office weather warning kicks in on Friday

Girl 'sick every 10 minutes' as bug hits holiday park

Cornwall News: Public Health England has released an update on Mullion

Most read

Cornwall's police issue latest public warning to would be holiday makers

Cornwall News: See point 1.15 which states: “You are not permitted to stay overnight away from the place where you are living for a holiday or similar purpose.”

TRURO: Mobile phone footage of anti-social behaviour

Cornwall News: Several incidents have sparked a police appeal

Pirate Extra Pirate 70s Escape LoveCornwall