As the summer holidays approach, Water NSW is reminding travellers to monitor blue-green algae alerts and current river conditions so they can make informed decisions regarding their travel plans.
WaterNSW recommends people travelling over the summer holidays, especially to areas around the River Murray, regularly check its website for updates on blue-green algae.
Blue-green algae blooms can cause waters to be unsafe to humans and animals. Red alert levels represent ‘bloom’ conditions and the water should not be used for drinking or other domestic purposes (cooking, showering etc.) or for recreation. People should not eat fish, mussels or crayfish from red level warning areas.
After recently issuing a red alert (high alert) for blue-green algae at Mildura/Buronga on the NSW and Victorian border we are asking people to regularly check the WaterNSW website for blue-green algae alerts due to the predicted warming weather and reducing flows. There could be incidences of potentially harmful algae in the coming months.
“We want to ensure people are making informed decisions when they enter waterways this summer, and a large part of that is making sure they’re not coming into contact with potentially dangerous blue-green algae,” said WaterNSW Executive Manager of water and catchment protection, Fiona Smith.
“We consistently monitor river conditions looking for signs of blue-green algae, and if our testing returns levels that present a risk to water users, we issue an alert on our website.”
“December sampling has shown an increase in algae, particularly in the mid-to-lower sections of the Murray.”
Updates about blue-green algae blooms and red level warning areas can be obtained by calling or visiting – http://www.waternsw.com.au/water-quality/algae, or calling 1800 999 457.
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. Therefore, we recommend caution, as in some cases algal blooms may be present but not yet reported.
A guide to the identification of algae can be found on the WaterNSW website: https://www.waternsw.com.au/water-quality/algae/identifying-algal-blooms
Media Contact – Tony Webber– 0428 613 478
General inquiries –Liz Symes – 0439 199 077