All clear for Diss Mere algae device trial

A solution may have been found to problems with toxic blue-green algae which thrives in Diss Mere during the summer months.

Diss Town Council will be trialling a special pump supplied by Henderson Plastics at Dereham, which helps to circulate the water around and prevent the build up of algae.

Earlier this summer, the presence of the organisms caused the council to switch off the popular water fountain feature, fearing visitors and residents could be sprayed by toxic water droplets during windy weather.

The algae, which thrive on warm temperatures, sunny conditions and high nutrient levels caused by waterfowl droppings, can cause skin irritation and stomach upsets in humans and can be fatal to dogs and fish.

But town clerk Deborah Sarson was hopeful the pump would prove successful in keeping the Mere clear and said a zoo in the Netherlands had already had positive results when using the pump to keep its animal bathing pools clear.

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However, she said no decision would be made on whether to keep the pump until after the trial from April to October 2012.

She added the Dereham firm's 'Airmaster WMS' device was the preferred option for the council because the cost of buying it, �1,700, was a lot cheaper than alternative solutions offered by Canadian and Australian companies, which would have cost in the region of �30,000.

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The pump will be powered from the same electric generator as the fountain in the King's Head pub car park and will cost �500 in electric over the six month period.

The device works by moving and circulating different strata of water around, helping to provide oxygen and preventing algae from building up.

Ms Sarson said: 'We will be running it from the early spring when the water temperature increases and then running it throughout the summer when the blue-green algae builds up.'

The town council is also trying to educate th public not to feed bread to the ducks, but pellets instead which can be bought from a nearby kiosk.

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