A red alert level warning (high alert) has been issued for the outlet at Lake Victoria. The results of water quality monitoring conducted by WaterNSW shows potentially toxic blue green algae are now dominant within the algal assemblage.
A red alert level warning indicates that people should not undertake recreational activities where they may be coming into direct contact with the water. Contact with the water may also pose a threat to livestock, and pets.
People should not eat mussels or crayfish from Red Alert warning areas.
A precautionary approach should be applied to fishing during bloom events.
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.
Avoiding fishing in a bloom location is the best way to minimise risk, particularly catching and eating fish from locations with severe blooms that last extended periods of time.
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 can appear to be dirty, green or discoloured and a strong musty or earthy odour may be noticed.
Potentially harmful algal blooms tend to occur when there are warm water temperatures and sunny days, low turbidity and calm water conditions where water may stratify.
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.
A red alert level warning (high alert) has also been issued for the lower Murray River at Wentworth, as dense surface scums remain persistent within the weir pool. Water quality monitoring has been conducted and WaterNSW will report the results as soon as they become available.
Updates about blue-green algae blooms and red level warning areas can be obtained by calling 1800 999 457 or visiting – http://www.waternsw.com.au/water-quality/algae