Warm weather can increase algae in dams

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

SunWater Environment and Water planning manager Gordon Delaney said BGA was commonly found in most large water storages across Queensland 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 to varying extents 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 the naturally occurring BGA that can find their way into water storages from various activities in the catchment, making the water unsuitable for direct 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 catches.

"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 updated BGA hazard signs at all its dam sites so people visiting the dams for recreational swimming, skiing, fishing or camping were informed of any potential risks.

"The risk of encountering BGA blooms will be listed as a low, moderate or high and we ask that visitors read the signs and take the necessary precautions at 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.

A list of current BGA levels at SunWater dams is over page.



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