Riverine Herald

Red alert warning declared for blue-green algae near Barmah

By Riverine Herald

A RED alert level warning for blue-green algae has been issued from Yarrawonga Weir to the junction of the Goulburn and Murray Rivers near Barmah township.

Visitors to the Murray River Reserve between Cobram Regional Park and Barmah National Park should avoid contact with the water.

People are advised not to enter the water, not to drink untreated water or bathe in untreated water while a red alert level warning is in place. Boiling the water will not remove algal toxins.

People should not eat fish or other marine life from red alert warning areas.

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.

The 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.

A red alert level warning indicates that people should not undertake recreational activities where they may come into direct contact with the water. Contact with the water may also pose a threat to livestock, and pets.

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 by blue-green algae are advised to seek medical advice.

Updates about blue-green algae blooms and warning areas can be obtained by calling WaterNSW on 1800 999 457 or visiting parks.vic.gov.au and searching by park name.