Lake hit by toxic al­gae bloom

WARN­ING TO AVOID CON­TACT

Mandurah Coastal Times - - NEWS - Jill Burgess

THE Depart­ment of Health is warn­ing peo­ple to avoid con­tact with blue-green al­gae that has formed in Lake Moy­anup (Drakes­brook Weir) in the Shire of Waroona.

En­vi­ron­men­tal health direc­tor Jim Dodds said the al­gae could cause a green dis­coloura­tion and sur­face scum in the wa­ter and was ca­pa­ble of pro­duc­ing Mi­cro­cystin, a harm­ful al­gal toxin.

Con­tact with the bloom may cause skin ir­ri­ta­tion, pos­si­bly lead­ing to se­vere der­mati­tis, while in­ges­tion of af­fected wa­ter may also cause se­vere ill­ness and liver dam­age.

“Recre­ational ac­tiv­i­ties such as swim­ming, wad­ing, kayak­ing, fish­ing and crab­bing should be avoided, par­tic­u­larly where al­gal scum or dis­coloura­tion is vis­i­ble,” Mr Dodds said.

Mr Dodds said the Shire of Waroona had erected health warn­ing signs at the main re­cre­ation area last week prior to wa­ter test­ing as a pre­cau­tion­ary mea­sure.

Any­one who comes in con­tact with al­gal scum should rinse it off with clean wa­ter and seek med­i­cal at­ten­tion if they feel un­well.

“As a gen­eral rule peo­ple should avoid swim­ming in wa­ter that looks dis­coloured, murky, smells un­pleas­ant, or has al­gal scum on the sur­face,” Mr Dodds said.

Not all wa­ter­ways are mon­i­tored for al­gal blooms and any­one who sees or sus­pects one in a wa­ter­way should re­port it to the Depart­ment’s ALGALWATCH dur­ing of­fice hours on 6250 8064.

The Wa­ter Cor­po­ra­tion and the Shire of Waroona will con­tinue to mon­i­tor the al­gal bloom and pro­vide ad­vice to the Depart­ment of Health on al­gal ac­tiv­ity lev­els.

Signs warn­ing of the lake bloom.

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