An amber alert for blue-green algae in the Richmond River at Jabour Weir, Casino and upstream has been issued today, Monday, February 13.
The warning for residents is to avoid contact with the water.
Blue-green algae occurs naturally in waterways. Blooms occur when conditions are favourable with high temperatures, high nutrients and low flow. Blooms appear as a thick paint-like scum on the water’s surface or as small green floating dots. Blooms are normally green or blue-green in colour and have a distinctive earthy smell.
When in bloom, blue-green algae can be harmful to humans and domestic animals as blue-green algae can contain neurotoxins, liver toxins and skin irritants.
Residents and visitors are advised not to enter the water to for recreational activities where they may come into contact with the water, such as swimming, bathing, boating, water skiing, sailing, kayaking and fishing.
Richmond Valley Council reassured residents the town water supply is fully treated and safe to drink.
Warning signs have been put up at several locations.
Animals affected by blue-green algae should be taken to the vet.
The council will continue routine testing the water while the algal bloom season continues.
For more information on algal alerts currently in place, call the State Government’s toll free algal information line on 1800 999 457 or visit Water NSW website.
To report algal blooms email RACC@waternsw.com.au