LIFTED: Red alert for blue-green algae at lake ends
Update 11am: THE red alert at Lake Ainsworth in Lennox Head has now been lifted, as blue green algae concentrations have remained low over the past two weeks.
As the red alert has been lifted there are no longer any restrictions on recreational activities.
Routine monitoring remains in place to identify any potential risks to recreational users.
Updates about blue-green algae blooms and red level warning areas can be obtained by visiting http://www.waternsw.com.au/algae, or calling 1800 999 457.
Original story: A RED Alert level warning (high alert) was issued for blue-green algae has been issued at Lake Ainsworth in Lennox Head.
The alert was raised by Ballina Shire Council.
The Red Alert level warning indicates that people should not undertake recreational activities where they may be coming into direct contact with the water, such as swimming, water sports and consuming seafood.
Contact with the water may also pose a threat to pets.
Warning signs are positioned at key recreational areas and will remain in place while high levels of blue-green algae are present.
The species of blue-green algae identified are potentially toxic and may cause gastroenteritis in humans if consumed.
Skin and eye irritations are also possible following contact with the algae.
Residents and visitors are advised not to enter the water while this Red Alert level warning is in place.
Blue-green algae usually appear as green paint-like scums on the water, near the edges, or as greenish clumps throughout the water.
It makes the water appear dirty, green or discoloured, and generally has a strong musty or earthy odour.
Blue-green algae scums may occur in the lake and have the potential to move around in wind and currents.
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.
Council confirmed it is not possible to predict how long the algae will remain at high levels.
Regular monitoring will continue by Ballina Shire Council and the alert will be lifted as soon as the high levels of blue green algae dissipate.
People who believe they may have been affected by blue-green algae are advised to seek medical advice.
Updates about blue-green algae blooms and red level warning areas can be obtained by calling 1800 999 457 or visiting http://www.waternsw.com.au/algae