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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Blue-Green Algae

Is the Town Water safe to drink?

Town water supplies remain unaffected and safe for drinking and domestic use. We are continuing to monitor our potable town drinking supplies in our towns to ensure they meet the Safe Drinking Water Standards.

Can I water my lawns and garden with affected water? Is it safe for my pets to drink?

Water affected by Blue-Green Algae can still be used to irrigate on gardens and lawns, however, we advise to visit the Department of Agriculture and Department of Primary Industries Fact Sheet. Applying water directly to fruit and vegetables that will be consumed is not recommended.

Also, it is recommended that direct contact with lawns that have been watered with BGA affected water should be avoided.

Is my area affected?

Areas impacted by the Red Alert can be viewed on the map below. As the river is our main source of water, all the channels pipelines within the range of the Red Alert Area (red line) are affected.

If you’re not sure whether the water near you is affected, it is best to err on the safe side and avoid the water. Blue-Green Algae is not always visible and does not always colour the water blue or green.

Does boiling the affected water makes it safe to drink?

Boiling the water DOES NOT remove the algae or make it safe to consume/use.

What should I do if I have filled my tanks with water that may contain Blue Green Algae?

We suggest not using this water for internal use. This water could be used on garden and lawns and we suggest looking at alternative options to refill the tank. ie Standpipes or Tanker Delivery (Tanker fees are at the owner’s expenses). Find the list of Water Carters and Standpipes here.

What are the typical symptoms from the contact with Blue Green Algae affected water?

Typical symptoms resulting from contact with algae include:

  • Itchness;
  • Sore Eyes, Ears and Nose;

If swallowed, Gastroenteritis symptoms including:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea

If the algae are producing a toxin then drinking the water can cause severe health effects including liver or kidney damage and effects on the nervous system.

People with concerns about their health should contact Nurse-On-Call on 1300 60 60 24 or seek medical advice.