Goulburn-Murray Water (GMW) is warning customers and the public to avoid contact with water in the No. 2 Lagoon in the Torrumbarry Irrigation Area after monitoring detected high levels of blue-green algae.
GMW Water Quality manager Greg Smith said while blue-green algae occurred naturally in waterbodies, it contained toxins harmful to humans and animals.
“Stock and pets should also be kept away from the water and watering of edible garden plants should be avoided,” he said.
Characteristic signs of algae contact are skin rashes or itchiness; sore eyes, ears and nose; or if swallowed, nausea or vomiting.
Mr Smith said it was not possible to predict how long the algae would remain present at high levels.
“We will continue to monitor the situation and will keep customers up-to-date via our website,” he said.
- 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;
- not using affected water for cooking, drinking, washing or showering (boiling the affected water will not make it safe for these purposes); and
- reading GMW’s fact sheet and keeping up to date with blue-green algae warnings at gmwater.com.au/news/bga to be informed of the risks.
Water supplied by GMW is not suitable for human consumption without first being properly treated. Human consumption includes showering, bathing, washing, cooking, ice making and drinking.
For more information about blue-green algae and your health, visit health.vic.gov.au or phone NURSE-ON-CALL on 1300 606 024.