Blue-green algae warnings for the Rochester Irrigation Area and part of the Central Goulburn Irrigation Area

Tuesday 26 February, 2019

Goulburn-Murray Water (GMW) is warning customers and the public to avoid direct contact with channel water in Rochester Irrigation Area and Central Goulburn Irrigation Area channels 7, 8 and 9 after monitoring detected high levels of blue‑green algae.

Blue-green algae occur naturally in waterbodies. They contain toxins that are harmful to humans and animals.  Characteristic signs of algae contact are skin rashes or itchiness; sore eyes, ears and nose; or if swallowed, nausea or vomiting.

GMW 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 GMW’s fact sheet and other information on blue green algae at GMW’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.

GMW is continuing to monitor the situation in the Central Goulburn and Rochester Irrigation Areas.

Keep up to date with current blue-green algae warnings at https://www.g-mwater.com.au/news/bga or phone the GMW blue-green algae hotline on 03 5826 3785.

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 60 60 24.