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Byron Shire
March 23, 2023

Amber alert for blue-green algae at Bray Park Weir

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Blue green algae. Photo Mark Sadowski/Flickr

Tweed Shire Council are assuring residents that the mains water supply for Tweed Shire remains drinkable despite the amber alert for blue-green algae for Tweed River and Bray Park Weir.

According to a council spokesperson ‘The algae in the weir has been tested and found to be a non-toxic species.’

‘Our water laboratory scientists lead the field in identifying and testing blue-green algae so we can assure our customers that they are in safe hands when it comes to our drinking water,’ manager of Water and Wastewater Operations Brie Jowett said.

‘Council draws water from the upstream side of the weir for treatment at the Bray Park Water Treatment Plant before it is distributed to our water customers.’

Blue-green algae occur naturally and can reproduce quickly in favourable conditions where there is still or slow-flowing water, abundant sunlight and sufficient levels of nutrients. However, council have assured residents that the Council’s water treatment processes of raw water at Bray Park Water Treatment Plant, and the smaller plants at both Uki and Tyalgum, are designed to remove potential toxins, together with taste and odour compounds.

‘Council will continue to monitor the situation at the Bray Park Weir pool and test the water twice a week to ensure it is treated appropriately for the conditions,’ Ms Jowett said.

Signs at public access points to the river near Bray Park, including Byangum Bridge, are being put up to advise the public of the presence of blue-green algae and any potential risk.

Treated water from the Tweed mains supply is not affected by an alert for blue-green algae being issued for Clarrie Hall Dam, Tweed River, and Bray Park Weir. Photo supplied.

Green alert for Clarrie Hall Dam

Meanwhile, the blue-green algae alert at Clarrie Hall Dam remains at green.

‘Our tests show the species in the dam has the gene capable of producing toxin, but there is no evidence that it has produced toxin,’ Mrs Jowett said.

However, Council is taking a precautionary approach and continuing to restrict recreational activities at the dam.

Warning signs at the dam wall and Crams Farm will stay in place advising recreational kayakers or fishers not to come into contact with the water.

Clarrie Hall Dam, the Uki pool where raw water is drawn for treatment for Uki village and the Tyalgum Weir pool are being tested weekly.

Blue-green algae affected water appears to have a green paint-like scum on the water, near the edges, or greenish clumps throughout the water.

Anyone who thinks they may have contacted blue-green algal water are advised to seek medical advice if symptoms appear.

For the latest, visit Council’s website www.tweed.nsw.gov.au/WaterAndWastewater

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