Unseasonably warm weather brings heightened risk of algal blooms

15 Oct 2013

SunWater is reminding visitors to dams over the coming months that warmer weather could lead to increases in blue-green algae (BGA) blooms.

SunWater Manager, Water Planning and Environment, Gordon Delaney said BGA was commonly found in most large water storages across Queensland each year and the public should be aware it can pose potential health risks for people and livestock.

"BGA blooms are not uncommon at this time of year and occur in varying volumes depending on climate, season and storage location," Mr Delaney said.

"As part of SunWater’s Environmental Management System, we regularly monitor BGA levels in our major storages across Queensland and advise the public of any risks through storage hazard information on SunWater’s website.

"There are many contaminants in addition to BGA that can find their way into water storages from various activities in the catchment, making the water unsuitable for drinking purposes.

"Using untreated dam water for domestic purposes can cause skin rashes and other health problems.

"Eating fish and crabs caught in dams that have higher than normal BGA levels can also pose a risk and people are advised to exercise care if considering eating their fishing catch.

"Graziers are advised that there is also a potential risk for livestock who may be grazing near water storages that contain high levels of BGA."

Mr Delaney said SunWater regularly updates BGA hazard signs at all its dam sites so people visiting the dams for recreational swimming, skiing, fishing or camping activities are informed of any potential risks.

"The risk of encountering BGA blooms will be listed as a low, moderate or high and we ask that the public read the signs and take the necessary precautions when visiting our dams," he said.

For the latest BGA hazard advisories at SunWater dams, visit the Water Storage Level section of www.sunwater.com.au or call 13 15 89.

  • Beardmore Dam
    BGA Status: Low
    Sample Date: 2 October 2013

  • Bjelke-Petersen Dam
    BGA Status: Low
    Sample Date: 23 September 2013

  • Boondooma Dam
    BGA Status: Low
    Sample Date: 2 October 2013

  • Burdekin Falls Dam
    BGA Status: Low
    Sample Date: 30 September 2013

  • Callide Dam
    BGA Status: Moderate
    Sample Date: 30 September 2013

  • Cania Dam
    BGA Status: Low
    Sample Date: 23 September 2013

  • Coolmunda Dam
    BGA Status: Low
    Sample Date: 1 October 2013

  • Eungella Dam
    BGA Status: Low
    Sample Date: 22 September 2013

  • Fairbairn Dam
    BGA Status: Moderate
    Sample Date: 1 October 2013

  • Fred Haigh Dam
    BGA Status: Moderate
    Sample Date: 30 September 2013

  • Julius Dam
    BGA Status: High
    Sample Date: 1 October 2013

  • Kinchant Dam
    BGA Status: Moderate
    Sample Date: 30 September 2013

  • Leslie Dam
    BGA Status: Moderate
    Sample Date: 30 September 2013

  • Paradise Dam
    BGA Status: Moderate
    Sample Date: 30 September 2013

  • Peter Faust Dam
    BGA Status: Moderate
    Sample Date: 30 September 2013

  • Teemburra Dam
    BGA Status: Moderate
    Sample Date: 30 September 2013

  • Tinaroo Falls Dam
    BGA Status: Moderate
    Sample Date: 1 October 2013

  • Wuruma Dam
    BGA Status: Low
    Sample Date: 30 September 2013

 

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Email: media@sunwater.com.au

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