Brown algae on Lincolnshire rivers is ‘harmless’ - Environment Agency

Brown algae spotted floating on rivers across the county has been described as harmless by the Environment Agency. It forms in slower moving rivers and rises to the surface in Spring.

Peter Haslock, Environment Management Team Leader, said: “We are keen to encourage people to take an interest in the rivers, streams and dykes that they see every day and we would urge people to tell us when something doesn’t look quite right.

“In the last couple of weeks, we have had reports of sewage floating on the surface of rivers throughout Lincolnshire.

“We would, however, like to reassure people that the brown substance they are seeing is in fact a type of algae and is a sign that spring has arrived.”

The algae remains on the riverbed during winter and rises to the surface as it begins to photosynthesise and produce minute oxygen bubbles when the water begins to warm up in spring.

It can often be found floating in clumps near river banks, bridges or other structures.

To report concerns about water pollution or other issues, such as fish gasping for breath, people should

contact the Environment Agency’s 24-hour hotline on 0800 807060.