Blue-green algae Red Alert issued for Windamere Dam

Blue-green algae Red Alert issued for Windamere Dam

15 December 2020

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

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. Skin and eye irritations can occur after contact with water. Contact may also pose a threat to livestock and pets. WaterNSW is continuing to monitor the situation.

The species of blue-green algae identified are potentially toxic. 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. Algae may cause gastroenteritis and other health issues in humans if consumed. Boiling the water does not remove algal toxins. Town water supplies remain unaffected and safe to drink.

People should not eat fish, mussels or crayfish from Red Alert warning areas. It is advised that stock and domestic users be on the lookout for algae scums and seek alternate supplies. 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. 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 visiting – http://www.waternsw.com.au/water-quality/algae

Media Contact – Tony Webber – 0428 613 478

General inquiries – Tracy Fulford – 02 6763 3910

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