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Author Topic: Namoi River at Walgett on red alert for blue-green algae  (Read 2513 times)

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Namoi River at Walgett on red alert for blue-green algae   

Far West Regional Algal Coordinating Committee
15 November 2012


The Far West Regional Algal Coordinating Committee (RACC) has issued a red level warning (high alert) for blue-green algae for the Namoi River at Walgett.

Routine monitoring by the NSW Office of Water and local councils has detected high numbers of potentially toxic blue-green algae in the Namoi River at Walgett. The red level warning indicates that waters are unsuitable for recreational use or primary contact by domestic users and may also pose a threat to livestock.

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 inactivate algal toxins.
Algal blooms can develop in a 24 hour period and can spread rapidly along the river.

Local residents and visitors 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 are advised to remove stock from the foreshores 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.

There is some evidence that small quantities of algal toxins may enter fish flesh when a bloom produces toxins. Any fish caught in water affected by a bloom should be cleaned and washed thoroughly in uncontaminated water and any internal organs disposed of before consumption.

This red level warning will remain in place until such time as the Far West Regional Algal Coordinating Committee advises that it has been lifted. The NSW Office of Water and local councils will continue to provide updates from routine water monitoring of the Namoi River.
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 or visit www.water.nsw.gov.au/Algal alerts


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Blue-green algae warning lifted at Namoi River Walgett
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2012, 08:19:41 PM »
ALGAL ALERT BULLETIN
Far West Regional Algal Coordinating Committee
23 November 2012

Blue-green algae warning lifted at Namoi River Walgett

The Far West Regional Algal Coordinating Committee today announced that the previously issued red level algal warning (high alert) for the Namoi River at Walgett has been downgraded to amber level (medium alert).

Monitoring conducted by Walgett Shire Council and the NSW Office of Water has shown that concentrations of blue-green algae have declined to medium levels prompting the lifting of the red alert.

While medium algae levels are in place the Namoi River at Walgett is suitable for recreation and water sports, however people are advised not to drink untreated or boiled water from the river due to the risk of stomach upsets. Boiling the water does
not inactivate algal toxins.
People should use personal discretion at all times before entering a water body and be aware that algal blooms can develop in a 24 hour period.
The NSW Office of Water and Walgett Council will continue routine water quality monitoring and advise any change as new results are received.
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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