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Author Topic: Blue-green algae alert - Windamere Dam  (Read 835 times)

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Blue-green algae alert - Windamere Dam
« on: June 17, 2014, 12:46:19 AM »
Central West Regional Algal Coordinating Committee
16 June 2014

Blue-green algae alert - 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 Office of Water has detected high
numbers of potentially toxic blue-green algae in areas 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 water drawn from the reservoir whilst a red level warning is in place.
Landholders are advised to remove stock from the reservoir 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
People should not eat mussels, crayfish or the internal organs of fish from red alert areas.
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

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