Blue-green algae Red Alert for Myall Lakes and Myall River

Blue-green algae Red Alert for Myall Lakes and Myall River

28 May 2021

A Red Alert for blue-green algae has been issued for the southern area of Myall Lakes near Bombah Point and Mungo Brush, and the Myall River downstream towards Hawkes Nest. Sampling has recorded high concentrations at multiple lake sites with further reports of blooms in the downstream river.

The species identified are potentially toxic and may cause gastroenteritis in humans if swallowed, skin and eye irritations, or respiratory issues.

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. Contact with the water also poses a threat to pets and livestock.

People are advised not to enter the water, not to drink untreated water or bathe in water drawn from the system while this Red Alert is in place. Boiling the water does not remove algal toxins. Town water supplies remain unaffected and safe to drink.

People should not eat mussels, prawns, or other 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 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 visiting – http://www.waternsw.com.au/algae.

Media Contact – Tony Webber – 0428 613 478 or Angela Davies 0467 947 426

General Contact – Dane Clarke – 0419 423 115

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Tuesday 19 October
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Tuesday 19 October