Red alert warning issued for Toonumbar Dam

This is Toonumbar Dam in September. Currently the water level is at 86% capacity. Photo: Contributed

WaterNSW has issued a Red Alert for high levels of potentially toxic blue-green algae in Toonumbar Dam.

This alert is based on the analysis of the latest satellite imagery. Algae samples will be collected to check this alert status.

The Red Alert warning applies to untreated water at the Toonumbar.

The alert will remain in place until monitoring and test results confirm that the risk is sufficiently diminished.

People should avoid consuming untreated water from the dam and prevent their pets and livestock from drinking this water.

People should avoid recreational activities such as swimming, water skiing, canoeing and any other activity that brings them into contact with the water at the dam.

Current level of Toonumbar Dam.

Potentially toxic blue green algae may cause gastroenteritis if consumed, while contact can cause skin and eye irritations. Consumption of water containing algal toxins may cause liver damage and other health problems. Boiling the water does not remove algal toxins.

People who suspect they’ve been affected by blue green algae should seek medical advice.

People should not eat mussels or crayfish from Red Alert warning areas. A precautionary approach to eating fish from Red Alert warning areas is advised. Any fish caught should be cleaned and washed thoroughly in uncontaminated water.

Blue-green algae is naturally occurring and can reproduce quickly in still or slow-flowing water when there is abundant sunlight and sufficient nutrients.

Check updates and information about blue-green algae blooms and red level warning areas at Water NSW or call 1800 999 457.

Source: Water NSW

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