WaterNSW issues blue-green algae red alert for Hume Dam

WaterNSW issues blue-green algae red alert for Hume Dam

24 December 2021

A red alert level warning (high alert) for potentially toxic blue-green algae has been issued for Hume Dam, following algal testing undertaken by WaterNSW

A red alert level warning indicates that people should not undertake recreational activities where they may come into direct contact with untreated water, such as swimming, as well as domestic uses including showering and washing.

People are advised not to drink untreated water while a red alert level warning is in place, and it is important to note boiling the water will not remove algal toxins.

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 foreshore areas where a surface scum is visible or blue green algae are suspected.

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

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. It makes the water appear dirty, green or discoloured and may have 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 the high alert level. Regular monitoring will continue, and the alert will be lifted as soon as testing confirms that the bloom has dissipated.

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 our algae webpage.

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