Blue-green algae Red Alert for Macintyre River at Boggabilla

Blue-green algae Red Alert for Macintyre River at Boggabilla

26 September 2019

A Red Alert level warning (high alert) for toxic blue-green algae has been issued for the Macintyre River at Boggabilla and Goondiwindi. High concentrations of cyanobacteria have been identified on the western town limits of Boggabilla and can be expected around Goondiwindi. Upstream releases may move algal concentrations further downstream.

A red alert level warning indicates that people should not undertake recreational activities where they may come into direct contact with the water or domestic use such as showering and washing. Contact with the water may also pose a threat to livestock and pets.

Stock and domestic users in this stretch of the Macintyre River should exercise a high level of caution and seek alternate water supplies where possible. Park users should watch their pets closely and restrict their access to the river. Stock and domestic users further downstream should apply caution and inspect water sources for algal scums.

Blue-green algae usually appears 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.

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.

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 when 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 our algae webpage.

Media Contact – Tony Webber – 0428 613 478

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Thursday 14 November