Blue-green algae Red Alert for Darling River at Tilpa and Darling River at Rose Isle

Blue-green algae Red Alert for Darling River at Tilpa and Darling River at Rose Isle

17 February 2020

A red alert level warning (high alert) for blue-green algae has been issued for Darling River at Tilpa and Rose Isle located approximately 60km South West of Bourke. This alert also applies to existing pools in the river that extend upstream and downstream of these sites.

A red alert level warning indicates that people should not undertake recreational activities where they may be coming 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 livestock and pets.

Tilpa residents have dual reticulated water supply and are advised not to use the water pumped directly from the river for domestic purposes or for pet’s drinking supply. People are advised not to enter the water, not to drink untreated water and not to bathe, or wash cloths in water drawn from the river while this red alert level warning is in place.

People camping along the river are urged not to use the water sourced from the river. Boiling the water will not remove to toxins. Campers should also watch their pets closely and not let them drink or enter the water. The species of blue-green algae are potentially toxic and may cause gastroenteritis and other health problems in humans if consumed. Eye irritations and skin conditions are may occur after contact with the water.

It is recommended that alternate water supplies be provided for stock and to remove stock from foreshores where possible. Livestock owners are reminded to continue to check stock water supplies for blue-green algae and where surface scum is visible or blue-green algae are suspected.

People should not eat fish, mussels or crayfish from red alert warning areas.

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. Regular monitoring will continue, 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 visiting – or calling 1800 999 457

General inquires - Tracy Fulford - 02 6763 3910

Media Contact – Tony Webber – 0428 613 478


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