AN amber alert for blue-green algae in the Richmond River at Jabour Weir Casino and upstream has been issued, with a warning for locals not to come into contact with the water.
Blue-green algae occur naturally in our waterways. Blooms occur when conditions are favourable with high temperatures, high nutrients, and low flow. Blooms appear as a thick paint-like accumulation on the water’s surface or as small green floating dots. Blooms are normally green or blue-green in colour and have a distinctive earthy smell.
When in bloom, blue-green algae can be harmful to humans and domestic animals. Blue Green Algae can contain neurotoxins, liver toxins and skin irritants.
Residents and visitors are advised not to enter the water to undertake recreational activities where they may come into contact with the water, such as swimming, bathing, boating, water skiing, sailing, kayaking and fishing.
Richmond Valley Council is reassuring residents the town water supply is fully treated and safe to drink.
Warning signs have been erected at a number of locations due to the high risk to recreational use, including fishing and swimming which could lead to primary contact with the water.
If people believe they or their animals have been affected by blue-green algae they should seek medical attention.
Council will continue routine testing at its water extraction points while the algal bloom season continues..
For more information on algal alerts currently in place, please call the NSW Government’s toll free algal information line on 1800 999 457 or visit water NSW website https://www.waternsw.com.au/water-quality/algae. To report algal blooms email RACC@waternsw.com.au