Blue-green algae Red Alert for the Namoi River downstream Keepit Dam

Blue-green algae Red Alert for the Namoi River downstream Keepit Dam

13 March 2020

A Red Alert level warning (high alert) for blue-green algae has been issued for the Namoi River downstream Keepit Dam located 40km North-East of Tamworth.

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. It is strongly urged that stock and domestic users should seek alternate water supplies.

There is a Green Alert is in place for Keepit Dam. However, water users should use caution and be on the lookout for algae scums. If scums become visible water users should avoid contact with the water.

People are advised not to enter the water, not to drink untreated water or bathe in water drawn from the dam while this red alert level warning is in place. Town water supplies remain unaffected and safe to drink.

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.

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.

People should not eat mussels or crayfish from red level 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 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.

Information updates about blue-green algae blooms and red level warning areas can be obtained from the Regional Algal Coordinating Committee, or visit – http://www.waternsw.com.au/water-quality/algae or free-call 1800 999 457.

General inquiries: Tracy Fulford - 02 6763 3910, Media Contact: Tony Webber – 0428 613 478

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