DOG owners have been warned to keep their pets on a lead as the council said toxic blue-green algae could be present in Apex Park's lake.

Sedgemoor District Council (SDC) has placed the signs around the lake as a 'precautionary measure' as they have fears due to the weather conditions the toxic algae is present in the water.

Cyanobacteria or ‘blue-green algae’, a type of blooming algae, can produce toxins which can kill wild animals, livestock and pets.

They can also harm people, producing rashes after skin contact and illnesses if swallowed.

A spokesman for Sedgemoor District Council, said a water sample from the lake has been taken away to be tested.

The spokesman said: "There is the possibility that, due to the weather conditions, that the toxic blue-green algae is present in the water. Samples of water will be tested by the Environment Agency.

"All guidance/signage should still be followed which also includes a restriction on any permit holders for casual model boat use. All the groups who use the lake have been advised.

"Fishing is permitted, but the rules relating to Blue-Green algae provided on permits must be adhered to."

The council says algae occurs naturally in inland waters such as rivers, streams and lakes.

When conditions are ideal for growth (i.e. a period of hot weather) an algal bloom can occur.

During a bloom, the water becomes less clear and may look green, blue-green or greenish-brown.

Scums can form during calm weather when several bloom forming species rise to the surface. This can look like paint, mousse or small clumps.

Algal blooms block sunlight from reaching other plants in the water. They also use up oxygen in the water at night which can suffocate fish and other creatures.

Oxygen is also used up when the bloom decays.

The blooms usually occur in the summer but there are no quick or easy remedies for the control of blue-green algae once they appear in a lake or pond.

SDC’s advice is to take the following precautions:

• Do not swim in the water

• Do not let dogs in the water or let them drink it

• Do not swallow the water

• Avoid contact with the algae

• Fish should never be taken from the lake or consumed

• Observe and abide by any warning notices positioned around the water