Concerns on ACT’s swimming spots over algae fears grow

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Lake Tuggeranong’s blue-green algae.

LAKE Tuggeranong will remain all but closed over “extreme levels” of blue-green algae.

The popular recreational spot is the one of three Canberra waterways shut down for swimming, diving, water-skiing and wind surfing.

However, ACT Health announced on late Wednesday evening that fishing is still permitted on the lake.

Rowing, boating and canoeing competitions can also go ahead as long as participants are aware of the associated exposure risks and adequate shower facilities are provided.

The concerns are over whole-body contact and submersion of the head on persons.

Lake Ginninderra and Murrumbidgee River are also closed from primary contact after being placed under scrutiny of environmental health support officers testing out the water quality.

ACT Health has warned against direct primary contact with the water “as much as possible”.

Clothing that has come into contact should be washed to remove any lingering traces of algae residue and persons should “immediately” shower.

Symptoms from exposure may include skin, mucosa and eye irritation, and gastrointestinal illness.

Persons also may display flu-like and hay fever-like symptoms with the recommendation they contact their doctor.

Pets are not permitted to swim or drink the lake’s water over concerns that contact with the algae could result in illness and even death.

ACT Health are continuing to suggest people wait at least three days after heavy rain before coming into contact at other ponds, lakes or rivers around Canberra.

Bacteria levels are known to become higher after rainfall due to the quantity of material collected in storm water pipes, grazing land and upstream water bodies.

Significant rainfalls will lead to Transport Canberra and City Services displaying signs of area closed to primary contact up as a precaution.

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