Suffolk

Reservoir near Ipswich shuts Aqua Park due to algae health risks

Aqua park
Image caption Aqua Park at Alton Water, near Ipswich, opened on 7 July 2018

A summer aqua park at a reservoir that temporarily shut last year has now closed permanently amid fears over blue-green algae.

Aqua Park at Alton Water near Ipswich, with 72 inflatables, slides and obstacles, was opened on 7 July 2018.

It opened for two weeks, closing after the algae was detected in the water.

Managers said the current levels were "not considered harmful" but apologised and said all customers with future bookings will be refunded.

The blue-green algae blooms, which form in hot weather, can release toxins which can cause skin irritation and sickness.

The water park said that during the winter months, Anglian Water, which own the reservoir at Stutton and Tattingstone, had invested heavily in ultrasonic equipment which experts predicted would prevent the bloom.

But in a statement they said "unfortunately, this has been unsuccessful".

"Customer safety is our highest priority and based on the rising trend and guidance from Alton Water, we are taking the very difficult decision to permanently close Aqua Park Suffolk."

Image caption Many of the features were designed as obstacles to test water skills as well as being fun to use

The water park was meant to be similar to parks the company runs at Rutland Water and in Cardiff Bay Barrage.

Blue-green algae are microscopic, but clump together in visible colonies up to a few millimetres in size which can rise to the surface and form thin wispy green blooms or thick, paint-like "scums".

When it is ingested, it can cause damage to the liver or the nervous system in humans and other animals.

People who have swallowed algal scum can suffer from skin rashes, eye irritation, vomiting, diarrhoea, fever and muscle and joint pain, but there is no evidence of long-term effects or death among people in the UK.

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