Water NSW Media Release – Blue-green Algae Red Alert

Murrumbidgee Regional Algal Coordinating Committee

3 March 2016

Red alert issued for Blue-green algae in the Murrumbidgee River at Carrathool

The Murrumbidgee Regional Algal Coordinating Committee today issued a red alert warning for blue-green algae in the Murrumbidgee River at Carrathool.

The red alert issued on 23 February 2016 for the Murrumbidgee River at Hay also remains in place.

Under a red alert, livestock owners are reminded to continue to check stock water supplies for blue-green algae and to remove stock from foreshores where surface scum is visible or blue-green algae are suspected.

Appropriate water treatment is in place by Carrathool Shire Council and town water supplies remain unaffected and safe to drink.

This red alert level warning indicates that waters are unsuitable for recreational use or primary contact by domestic users and may also pose a threat to livestock.

Blue-green algae 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.

People are advised not to enter the water, not to drink untreated water or bathe in water drawn from the river while this red alert level warning is in place.

People should not eat mussels or crayfish from red level warning areas. Any fish caught should be cleaned and washed thoroughly in uncontaminated water and any internal organs disposed of before consumption.

Information for landholders regarding stock and crops can be found here:http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/agriculture/resources/water/quality/publications/blue- green-algae

Information on health impacts can be found here:http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/environment/water/Pages/water-recreational.aspx

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