Burrendong Dam algae doesn't scare people away

Solid attendance numbers at the Burrendong Dam were reported over the weekend, despite the red-level blue-green algae alert issued on Friday.

Inland Waters – Lake Burrendong manager Jason Kirk said if the alert had scared anyone off, he didn’t notice it.

The Central West Regional Algal Coordinating Committee has issued a red alert warning for blue-green algae for Burrendong Dam. File Photo

The Central West Regional Algal Coordinating Committee has issued a red alert warning for blue-green algae for Burrendong Dam. File Photo

“There was a fairly solid show of numbers on the weekend. We probably saw 50-60 boats on the lake,” Mr Kirk said.

The alert, issued by the Central West Regional Algal Coordinating Committee said people should not undertake recreational activities where they may come into direct contact with the water such as swimming, as well as domestic uses including showering and washing.

The blue-green algae identified are potentially toxic and can cause gastroenteritis if consumed and skin and eye irritations after contact.

Mr Kirk said the algae is prevalent around the lake.

“You can actually see the algae in the water… it’s pretty visible. 

“In the park itself we have a filtration system for the drinking water and the showers, so we’re okay,” Mr Kirk said.

Mr Kirk said Inland Waters have had no reported issues. 

Dubbo Regional Council issued a statement the blue-green algae warning issued for Burrendong Dam does not affect Wellington, Geurie and Dubbo’s drinking water

“Town water supplies remain unaffected and safe to drink because the water goes through a treatment process at the Water Supply Plant at either Wellington, Geurie and Dubbo which removes algae toxins,” Director technical services Stewart McLeod said.

“The current issues with odour and taste with tap water is due to the high level of organic matter, that is decomposing plant life, in the source water.”

Mr McLeod said Burrendong Dam has been at or over capacity for a number of weeks now, and this is where Dubbo, Geurie and Wellington’s water supply comes from.

“The water is being treated with powder activated carbon to remove the taste and smell, however it will take a number of days for the water to carry through the system.”

“Residents who wish to register complaints or concerns about the water quality are encouraged to do so through Council’s customer service team on (02) 6801 4000.”

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