Diss Mere fountain switched off over blue-green algae fears

Blue-green algae has returned to Diss Mere, which has caused the temporary shutdown of the fountain.

The fountain, which was repaired earlier this year, has been turned off over concerns that visitors and residents could be sprayed with toxic water droplets.

The algae, which has become a regular summertime visitor to the mere, thrives in warm temperatures, sunny conditions, and high nutrient levels caused by waterfowl droppings.

Diss Town Council has switched off the fountain while blue-green algae remains and the council's maintenance staff are checking the quality of the water on a daily basis.

Town clerk Deborah Sarson said the council would turn on the fountain once the toxic algae had cleared, which can prove fatal to dogs and fish and cause skin irritation and stomach upsets in humans.

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She added that the town council was not looking to ban the feeding of the ducks at Diss Mere to resolve the algae problem.

'It is an attraction for the town and is good for tourism and good for businesses.

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'We are trying to educate the public and make them aware of the issue and encourage them to feed pellets to the ducks rather than bread,' she said.

People can buy pellets for the ducks from the Diss Tourist Information Centre in Mere's Mouth and the Park Pavilion kiosk.

The town council has been told that it would cost around �30,000 to get rid of blue-algae from the mere, but the treatment would only last about five years.

The mere fountain, which helps to oxygenate the water for the fish, was restored earlier this year after the town council paid �3,700 for a new pump.

The water feature was installed in 2005 by the Diss and District Rotary Club.

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