Blue-green algae Red Alert for Bray Park Weir

Blue-green algae Red Alert for Bray Park Weir

05 February 2019

Tweed Shire Council has issued a Red Alert level warning (high alert) for blue-green algae for Bray Park Weir in the North Coast region.

The algae result for this Bray Park Weir may be representative of water holes of the Tweed and Oxley Rivers upstream of the weir. Therefore, water users in these areas should apply a high level of caution and consider alternate water supplies for stock and domestic purposes.

Blue-green algae usually appear as green paint-like scums 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.

Blue-green algae scums have been observed in the weir and have the potential to move around in wind and currents.

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

Warning signs are positioned at key recreational areas and will remain in place while high levels of blue-green algae are present.

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.

People are advised not to enter the water or drink untreated water while this Red Alert level warning is in place. Boiling the water does not remove algal toxins. Town water supplies remain unaffected and safe to drink.

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

It is not possible to predict how long the algae will remain at high levels. Regular monitoring will continue by Tweed Shire Council and the alert will be lifted as soon as 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

General Inquiries - Tracy Fulford – 02 6763 3910

Media Contact – Darren Hadland – 0436 661 886

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