Blue-green algal red alert issued for Yanga Lake at Regatta Beach

Blue-green algal red alert issued for Yanga Lake at Regatta Beach

13 January 2022

WaterNSW has issued a red alert for levels of potentially toxic blue-green algae at Yanga Lake in the Yanga National Park near Balranald.

Staff from the Yanga National Park reported an algal scum at Regatta Beach, a popular recreation area on the western shore of Yanga Lake and testing resulted in a red alert advisory warning being issued.

A red alert level warning indicates that people should not undertake recreational activities where they may be coming into direct contact with untreated water such as swimming, as well as domestic uses including showering and washing. Contact with the untreated water may also pose a threat to livestock and pets.

Blue-green algae are potentially toxic and may cause gastroenteritis in humans if consumed and skin and eye irritations after contact. Boiling the water does not remove algal toxins.

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.

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

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. Before consumption, any fish caught should be cleaned and washed thoroughly in uncontaminated water.

This red alert algal advisory is applicable to untreated water at the Yanga Lake at Regatta Beach site only.  For information regarding drinking water supply the public should contact their local council or local water utility.

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 and information about blue-green algae blooms and red level warning areas can be obtained by calling 1800 999 457 or visiting – https://www.waternsw.com.au/water-quality/algae

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

General Enquiries – Gerhard Schulz (Gerhard.Schulz@Waternsw.com.au)

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