Blue-Green Algae, New South Wales, Australia, Biological Hazard
Biological Hazard – Australia – Australia
Posted: 14 Dec 2012 07:16 PM PST
EDIS Number: BH-20121215-37522-AUS Date / time: 15/12/2012 03:15:22 [UTC] Event: Biological Hazard Area: Australia Country: Australia State/County: State of New South Wales Location: Wagga Wagga [Lake Albert] Number of Deads: N/A Number of Injured: N/A Number of Infected: N/A Number of Missing: N/A Number of Affected: N/A Number of Evacuated: N/A Damage level: N/A
Lake Albert has been left off limits after the discovery of blue-green algae this week. Council officers conducting routine monitoring have found the bacteria level in the lake has exceeded safe limits. Blue-green algae are naturally occurring bacteria and are commonly present in water, however, blooms and increasing toxin levels occur when the water is high in nutrients or after high rainfall or high temperatures. Wagga City Council's environment and regulatory services manager, Mark Gardiner, said it was difficult to estimate when the algae would subside and said it would depend on the weather. "Particular care should be taken where algae can be seen, or where the water has a strong odour," Mr Gardiner said. "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." During an algal bloom, toxins are released into the water and blooms will move around the lake. "People shouldn't rely on the fact that they can't see a bloom ... toxins can still be in the water," Mr Gardiner said. He said residents should take particular care with animals ensuring they don't come in contact with the water. Mr Gardiner said council staff would continue to monitor the lake and would advise the community when algal levels returned to safe levels.