Algae outbreak closes lake to swimmers

LAKE Tuggeranong has been closed to swimmers because of the damaging health effects of blue-gree algae.

An “Extreme Alert” level has been issued for blue-green algae in the lake.

The lake is closed to primary-contact recreation and the action has been taken in accordance with the ACT Guidelines for Recreational Water Quality following advice from ACT Health.

Primary-contact recreation means recreation that involves whole-body water contact or submersion of the head. Examples include swimming, diving, waterskiing and windsurfing.

Secondary-contact recreation (such as rowing, fishing, boating and canoeing) is permitted, however people should not engage in secondary-contact recreation unless:

  • they are experienced;
  • they are informed of the algae risks and what to do if contact occurs;
  • they do not engage in primary-contact during the recreation; and
  • shower facilities, with suitable water, are available for washing after the recreation.

In particular, contact with algal scum should be avoided. Clothing that has been in the water should be washed to remove any blue-green algae residue.

Water event organisers should ensure all participants are aware of the blue-green algae Alert Level, the associated exposure risks and provide adequate shower facilities.

Pet owners should not allow their animals to swim in or drink the water, as blue-green algae can make pets very ill or even result in death.

Algae levels can change quickly. Water users should look for algae warnings signs which indicate the current algae alert level. Warning signs are located at public access areas.

Anyone concerned about possible symptoms of blue-green algae exposure following water exposure should contact their GP.

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