25 January 2023

Blue-green algae warning in place for Lake Albert

| Shri Gayathirie Rajen
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 Alert for blue-green algae at Lake Albert.

Wagga Wagga City Council has issued a blue-green algae alert at Lake Albert. Photo: City of Wagga Wagga.

Wagga residents and visitors are being advised to stay out of Lake Albert after evidence of blue-green algae was detected in the water.

Wagga Wagga City Council has issued the health alert, advising that contact with water from the lake should be avoided.

The increase in blue-green algae blooms is a direct result of a combination of warm weather, high humidity, and an influx of nutrients from the catchment.

Wagga City Council relieving manager environment and regulatory services Sharomi Dayanand says the water from Lake Albert is unsuitable for drinking and recreational use while the algae count is in high numbers.

“We’re advising everyone in the community to avoid coming into contact with water from the lake, and this includes your pets; dogs are especially susceptible to these toxins,” Ms Dayanand said.

“Particular care should be taken where algae can be seen, or where the water has a strong odour.”

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Contact with affected water can cause skin irritation, mild respiratory effects and hayfever-like symptoms. Ingesting toxins can also cause gastroenteritis symptoms, such as vomiting, diarrhoea, fever and headaches. Toxins can also have an effect on the liver and the nervous system.

Blue-green algae can appear as specking, suspended clumps or as algal scums which take the form of green or yellow discoloured slicks on the water surface. It can kill pets who ingest it.

With temperatures set to remain in the 30s, people are being asked to keep themselves and their pets out of Lake Albert.

As a member of the Murrumbidgee Regional Algal Coordinating Committee, the council is following the protocols contained in the Murrumbidgee Regional Algal Contingency Plan.

Signs have been put up by council advising people to stay out of the water, with Ms Dayanand saying council will continue to monitor the situation.

“We appreciate everyone staying out of the water and we’ll notify the community as soon as the readings are at an acceptable level.”

For more information about the lake, visit Lake Albert

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