• Loddon Herald

First algae alert in four years

HIGH LEVELS of blue green algae has been detected in Laanecoorie reservoir for the first time in four years.

Goulburn-Murray Water (GMW) is warning customers and the public to avoid direct contact

with water in Laanecoorie Reservoir after detecting high levels of blue-green algae.

Warning signs will be positioned at recreational areas around the reservoir and will remain in

place while high levels of blue-green algae are present.

GMW water quality co-ordinator Bianca Atley said the reservoir would not be closed to the

public and visitors could still sight see and enjoy other activities that did not involve direct

contact with the water.

“If people are near the water or on a boat, they should take care to avoid direct contact with

the water,” she said.

Blue-green algae occur naturally in waterbodies and contain toxins harmful to humans and

animals. Characteristic signs of algae contact are skin rashes or itchiness; sore eyes, ears

and nose; or if swallowed, nausea or vomiting.

GMW recommends:

  •  People and pets avoid contact with the water

  •  People who come into contact with affected water should wash affected skin

  • immediately in clean cold water

  •  Seeking an alternative water supply for stock and pets where possible

  •  Do not use affected water for cooking, drinking, washing or showering. Boiling the

  • affected water will not make it safe for these purposes.

It is not possible to predict how long the algae will remain at high levels, but GMW will

continue to monitor the situation.

It has been four years since such a high level of blue-green algae was detected at

Laanecoorie Reservoir and this is the eighth warning issued at the waterway in the past 20


Water supplied by GMW is not suitable for human consumption without first being properly

treated. Human consumption includes showering, bathing, washing, cooking, ice making and


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