Blue-green algae red alert for Boggabilla Weir

Blue-green algae red alert for Boggabilla Weir

23 October 2017

A red level warning (high alert) for blue-green algae has been issued for Boggabilla Weir, located at Boggabilla, near Goondiwindi.

A red alert level warning indicates that people should not undertake recreational activities, where they may come into direct contact with the water, such as swimming, as well as domestic uses including showering and washing.

Recreational users downstream of Boggabilla Weir should use personal discretion and avoid contact with water showing possible signs of blue green algae.

Contact with the water may also pose a threat to livestock and pets.

Livestock owners are reminded to continue to check stock water supplies for blue-green algae and to remove stock from foreshores where surface scum is visible or blue-green algae are suspected.

The species of blue-green algae identified are potentially toxic and may cause gastroenteritis in humans if consumed and skin and eye irritations after contact. Boiling the water does not remove algal toxins.

Boggabilla’s town water supply remains safe, as Moree Plains Shire Council has commenced treating the water with Powdered Activated Carbon to remove toxins.

Blue-green algae usually appear as green paint-like scum on the water, near the edges, or as greenish clumps throughout the water. It makes the water appear dirty, green or discoloured and generally has a strong musty or earthy odour.

People should not eat mussels or crayfish from red level warning areas. Any fish caught should be cleaned thoroughly in uncontaminated water and any internal organs disposed of before consumption.

Blue-green algae occur naturally and can reproduce quickly in favourable conditions where there is still or slow-flowing water, abundant sunlight and sufficient levels of nutrients.

It is not possible to predict how long the algae will remain at high levels. Regular monitoring will continue and the alert will be lifted once the high levels of algae dissipate.

People who believe they may have been affected by blue-green algae are advised to seek medical advice.

Updates about blue-green algae blooms and red level warning areas can be obtained by calling 1800 999 457 or visiting – http://www.waternsw.com.au/water-quality/algae

Contact: Tony Webber

Phone: 0428 613 478

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Friday 14 December
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1,577,985 ML
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Friday 14 December