News

Blue-green algae warning for Yarrawonga Weir and Lake Mulwala

By Ed McLeish

Goulburn-Murray Water is warning customers and the public to avoid direct contact with water in Yarrawonga Weir and Lake Mulwala, after monitoring detected high levels of blue-green algae.

In addition, WaterNSW has issued a caution for the Murray River downstream of Lake Mulwala to Tocumwal, as harmful concentrations of blue-green algae may be present.

Increased water monitoring is being undertaken at sites along the Murray as algae levels continue to fluctuate.

Warning signs will be positioned at major recreational areas around Lake Mulwala and will remain in place while high levels of blue-green algae are present, but Lake Mulwala will not be closed to the public.

Visitors to the lake can still sight-see and enjoy other activities at Lake Mulwala that do not involve direct contact with the water.

Blue-green algae occurs naturally in water bodies and contains toxins that are harmful to humans and animals.

Usual signs of algae contact are skin rashes or itchiness; sore eyes, ears and nose; or if swallowed, nausea or vomiting.

G-MW recommends:

● People and pets avoid contact with the water.

● People who come into contact with affected water should wash affected skin immediately in clean cold water.

● Seeking an alternative water supply for stock and pets where possible.

● Do not use affected water for cooking, drinking, washing or showering.

● Boiling the affected water will not make it safe for these purposes.

● Reading G-MW’s fact sheet and other information on blue-green algae at G-MW’s blue-green algae webpage (https://www.g-mwater.com.au/news/bga) to be informed of the risks.

It is not possible to predict how long the algae will remain at high levels.

G-MW is continuing to monitor the situation in consultation with WaterNSW.

Water supplied by G-MW is not suitable for human consumption without first being properly treated. Human consumption includes showering, bathing, washing, cooking, ice-making and drinking.

Keep up-to-date with current BGA warnings at https://www.g-mwater.com.au/news/bga or by phoning 1800 013 357 and selecting the option for BGA information.

For more information about BGA and your health, visit health.vic.gov.au or phone NURSE-ONCALL on 1300 60 60 24.