Update Blue-green algae Red Alert for the lower Murray River Downstream from Wentworth

Update Blue-green algae Red Alert for the lower Murray River Downstream from Wentworth

20 January 2021

The red alert level warning (high alert) previously issued for the lower Murray River (Red Cliffs to Wentworth) remains current. A new Red Alert has now been declared for an additional downstream reach, that is, from Wentworth to Lock 9 and includes Fort Courage. This declaration of a red alert follows testing undertaken by WaterNSW and local water authorities. Levels of blue green algae in other sections of the river continue to fluctuate.

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 may also pose a threat to livestock, and pets. 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.

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.

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

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 may appear dirty, green or discoloured and may also have a strong musty or earthy odour.

People who believe they may have been affected by blue-green algae are advised to seek medical advice.

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.

Updates about blue-green algae blooms and red level warning areas can be obtained by 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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