Blue-green algae Red Alert issued for Windamere Dam

Blue-green algae Red Alert issued for Windamere Dam

06 August 2019

A Red Alert warning (high alert) for blue-green algae has been issued for Windamere Dam, located
in the Central West region 30km south-east of Mudgee.

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 use including showering and washing.

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

The species of blue-green algae identified are potentially toxic. People are advised not to enter the water, drink untreated water or bathe in water drawn from the dam while this Red Alert warning remains in place.

Algae may cause gastroenteritis in humans if consumed and skin and eye irritation after contact with the water. Boiling the water does not remove algal toxins. Town water supplies remain unaffected and safe to drink.

It is advised that stock and domestic users be on the lookout for algal scums and seek alternate supplies if needed. WaterNSW is continuing to monitor the situation.

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

Livestock owners are reminded 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.

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 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.

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

General inquiries – Tracy Fulford – 02 6763 3910

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