A red alert warning has been issued for Burrendong Dam for blue-green algae, which are potentially toxic and may cause gastroenteritis in humans if consumed.
Water NSW has reassured that town water supplies are unaffected and safe to drink, but advised that no one should enter the water, should not drink untreated water or bathe in water drawn from the the dam.
Skin and eye irritations may occur after contact, and boiling the water does not remove algal toxins.
Water users downstream of the storage should monitor for algae scums, and livestock owners should remove stock from foreshores where surface scum is visible or blue-green algae are suspected.
- Read the investigator's report into Dubbo council
- Ben Furney adopts rapid antigen testing as it continues COVID safety
- Greenhouse gas levels hit a record as Nats gain more power from net zero deal
- Nominations open for Dubbo council elections
- Tigers' future uncertain as opposition to Western Premiership remains
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 and discoloured and can have a strong musty or earthy smell.
Mussels or crayfish caught from red alert areas should not be consumed, and any fish caught should be cleaned and washed thoroughly and any internal organs disposed of before consumption. Fish fillet meals from algal bloom affected areas should be limited to one to two servings per week.
Blue-green 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.
It is not possible to predict how long the algae will remain at high levels. Water NSW will conduct regular monitoring 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 red level warning areas can be obtained by visiting: