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Author Topic: Blue-green algae increasing in Windamere Dam  (Read 1381 times)

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Blue-green algae increasing in Windamere Dam
« on: December 16, 2013, 09:17:51 PM »
Central West Regional Algal Coordinating Committee
13 December 2013

Blue-green algae increasing in Windamere Dam

The Central West Regional Algal Coordinating Committee has today issued a high
alert for blue-green algae in Windamere Dam, near Mudgee.
Monitoring by the NSW State Water Corporation and NSW Office of Water has
detected high numbers of potentially toxic blue-green algae in the recreational area
of Windamere Dam.
A high alert 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 in a water body.
Existing blooms are also subject to prevailing winds and can be moved about over
wide areas in a short time
People 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 or bathe in untreated water drawn from the reservoir whilst a red
level warning is in place.
Landholders are advised to remove stock from the reservoir foreshores as bluegreen
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.
People should not eat mussels, crayfish or the internal organs of fish from red alert
This red level warning will remain in place until such time as the Central West
Regional Algal Coordinating Committee advises that it has been lifted. The Office of
Water and State Water Corporation will continue routine water quality monitoring of
Windamere Dam.
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

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