Seasonal algae seen along Wales' coastline

Natural Resources Wales (NRW) is reassuring local people and visitors that Welsh beaches are clean and healthy, despite some appearances of substances in the water and on some Welsh  beaches.

NRW officers have received a few reports from people concerned about what they believe is sewage or slurry on beaches or in the water around the coast in Wales.

These have been investigated and found to be caused by tiny, naturally occurring algae, that thrive in warm weather conditions.

The algae is often mistaken for sewage or other pollution because of its typically brown, frothy appearance and its slight seaweed like smell.

As the algae die off, scum may start to form along the tide line. While these scums may be unpleasant to look at and may smell bad, they are not a health hazard to swimmers or dogs.

Fiona Hourahine, Operations Manager, Natural Resources Wales said:

“We have fantastic beaches in Wales and really great water quality with more than 80% of bathing waters reaching the highest standards for cleanliness.
“At this time of year, we get some reports of possible pollution on the coast. We treat each one seriously and assess every report.
“Despite its unpleasant appearance, most of the reports we receive turn out to be this common algae.
“Warm weather provides the conditions for the algae to occur and it will disperse naturally over time.”

People can report any sightings on the Natural Resources Wales incident hotline: 0300 065 3000  or online Natural Resources Wales / Report an incident