Blue-green algae along the Lower Darling River

Blue-green algae along the Lower Darling River

03 February 2021

A red alert level warning (high alert) has been issued for the lower Darling River below Menindee Lakes and downstream to Burtundy. Surface scums have been observed and the current bloom is widespread. WaterNSW has increased sampling at all monitoring sites in the area impacted and will report the results as soon as they become available.

A red alert level warning indicates that people should not undertake recreational activities where they may be coming into direct contact with the water. Contact with the water may also pose a threat to livestock, and pets.

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 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. The water can appear to be dirty, green or discoloured and a strong musty or earthy odour may be noticed.

Potentially harmful algal blooms tend to occur when there are warm water temperatures and sunny days, low turbidity and calm water conditions where water may stratify. 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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Friday 18 June