Caution issued for Lower Murray between Mt Dispersion & Wentworth

Caution issued for Lower Murray between Mt Dispersion & Wentworth

31 December 2020

WaterNSW has issued a cautionary warning for toxic blue-green algae on the Lower Murray River between Mt Dispersion and Wentworth.

Yesterday (Wednesday, 30 December) WaterNSW issued a red alert for blue-green algae specific to Mt Dispersion and Wentworth and has today extended that red alert advice to now also cover Red Cliffs.

While awaiting results from further monitoring in the area WaterNSW is advising the community to exercise a high degree of caution along the entire stretch of river between Mt Dispersion and Wentworth.

Current conditions indicate there is a high likelihood that blue-green algae could be present at red alert levels along much of the river in this region.

A red alert level warning indicates that people should not undertake recreational activities where they may be coming into direct contact with the water.

People are advised not to enter the water, not to drink untreated water or bathe in untreated water while a red alert level warning is in place. Boiling the water will not remove algal toxins.

Do 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 disposed of before consumption.

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 calling 1800 999 457 or visiting – http://www.waternsw.com.au/water-quality/algae

General inquires – Elizabeth Symes - 0439 199 077

Media Contact – Tony Webber – 0428 613 478

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