Blue-green algae Red Alert for Doughboy Hollow in Singleton

Blue-green algae Red Alert for Doughboy Hollow in Singleton

06 January 2020

A recreational Red Alert warning (high alert) for blue-green algae has been issued for Doughboy Hollow in Singleton after sampling by Singleton Council contractors revealed high levels of a potentially toxic species.

Singleton Council has erected warning signs in relevant access areas that will remain in place while high levels of blue-green algae are present. This alert does not affect Hunter Water’s drinking water supplies, which remain safe to drink.

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 or other water-based activities. Contact with the water may also pose a threat to livestock and pets.

People are advised not to enter the water, swim or bathe in water, or drink untreated water drawn from the waterway while this red alert level warning is in place.

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.

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, which may contain toxins, should be disposed of appropriately.

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.

The species of blue-green algae identified is 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.

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 by Singleton Council contractors 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 – http://www.waternsw.com.au/water-quality/algae or calling 1800 999 457.

Media Contact – Tony Webber – 0428 613 478

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