Blue green algae Red Alert warning lifted at Windamere Dam

The Central West Regional Algal Coordinating Committee (CW-RACC) today announced that the previously issued Red Level algal warning (high alert) at Windamere Dam has been downgraded to Amber Level (medium alert).

Monitoring conducted by WaterNSW has shown that concentrations of blue-green algae have declined to medium levels prompting the lifting of the Red Alert.

While on an Amber Alert, the water is generally considered to be suitable for water sports, however people are advised to exercise caution. People still are advised not to drink untreated or boiled water from the storage due to the risk of stomach upsets. Boiling the water does not inactivate algae toxins. Water users should use personal discretion at all times before entering the water body and be aware that algal situation can change quickly.

The water should be considered unsuitable for potable use and alternative supplies or prior treatment of raw water for domestic purposes should be considered. The water may be unsuitable for stock watering.

The WaterNSW will continue routine water quality monitoring and advise any change as new results are received.

Blue-green algae occur naturally and can reproduce quickly in favourable conditions where there is still or slow-flowing water, abundant sunlight and sufficient levels of nutrients.

Blue-green algae usually appear as green paint-like scums on the water, near the edges, or as greenish clumps throughout the water. It makes the water appear dirty, green or discoloured and generally has a strong musty or earthy odour.

People who believe they may have been affected by blue-green algae are advised to seek medical advice.