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Author Topic: Blue-green algal alert for Wallis Creek, East Maitland  (Read 3843 times)

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Blue-green algal alert for Wallis Creek, East Maitland   

Hunter Regional Algal Coordinating Committee
Media Contact: Anne Brook - 0419 120 527
Health enquiries: Hunter New England Local Health District– 02 4985 5522
16 November 2012

The Hunter Regional Algal Coordinating Committee today issued a high level bluegreen algal alert in Wallis Creek at East Maitland.
Recent sampling in Wallis Creek has found that algae numbers are in the high range and are a potential health risk to people and animals.
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 the toxins produced by the algae.
Local residents should avoid any water that appears bright green, where obvious green scums are present, or a distinctive odour is noticeable. Blue-green algae are usually very obvious, appearing as clumps or specs in the water and are often associated with a strong musty or earthy odour.
People are advised not to enter the water, and are further advised not to drink untreated water whilst a red level warning is in place.
Landholders along Wallis Creek are advised to remove stock from the affected area as blue-green algae are known to cause stock illness or even death.
Dogs are particularly susceptible as they ingest algae by licking their coats.
Warning signs are being erected in the affected areas.
TheHunter New England Local Health District advises people who believe they may have been affected by the algae to seek medical treatment.
Further sampling by the Hunter RACC will be undertaken to determine the extent of the bloom and advise the public as the situation changes.
Information 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

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