Blue-green algae Red Alert for Lake Ainsworth

Blue-green algae Red Alert for Lake Ainsworth

20 October 2021

A Red Alert level warning (high alert) for blue-green algae has been issued for Lake Ainsworth in the North Coast region by Ballina Shire Council

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.

Warning signs are positioned at key recreational areas and will remain in place while high levels of blue-green algae are present.

The species of blue-green algae identified are potentially toxic and may cause gastroenteritis in humans if consumed and skin and eye irritations following contact. People are advised not to enter the water and not to drink untreated water while this Red Alert level warning is in place. Boiling the water does not remove algal toxins. Town water supplies remain unaffected and safe to drink.

People should not eat crayfish where a Red Alert is in place. Any fish caught should be cleaned and washed thoroughly in uncontaminated water and any internal organs disposed of before consumption. Fish fillet meals from algal bloom affected areas should be limited to 1-2 servings per week.

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 by Ballina Shire Council and the alert will be lifted as soon as the high levels of blue green 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 Alert level warning areas can be obtained by visiting our algae webpage.

Media Contact - Angela Davies - 0467 947 426

General Contact - Dane Clarke - 0419 423 115

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Saturday 27 November
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2,491,620 ML
2,581,850 ML
9,081 ML
1,298 ML
17,603 ML
Saturday 27 November