Unless you’re swimming, skiing or drinking water from the upper reaches of the Lachlan River arm at Wyangala Dam the latest red level blue-green algae warning for the dam will have no impact on you.
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The Central West Regional Algal Coordinating Committee (RACC) issued a red level warning (high alert) for blue-green algae at Wyangala late last week.
A similar warning was issued prior to Christmas before being lifted in the near year.
That warning had little to no impact on visitor numbers to Wyangala over the Christmas and New Year period.
Wyangala Park manager James Armstrong said whilst warning signs are positioned around Wyangala the areas affected are Station 4 up the Lachlan Arm and Station 3 at the junction of the Lachlan River and Sandy Creek.
Mr Armstrong explained these areas are the complete opposite from the main recreation areas and are towards Bigga and Reid’s Flat.
The species of blue-green algae identified 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.
People are advised not to enter the water, not to drink untreated water or bathe in water drawn from the dam while this red alert level warning is in place.
Wyangala village water supplies remain safe to drink.
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.
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.
People should not eat mussels or crayfish from 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 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 are advised to seek medical advice.
Updates about blue-green algae blooms and red level warning areas can be obtained from the Regional Algal Coordinating Committee freecall Algal Information Hotline on 1800 999 457 or visit – www.water.nsw.gov.au
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