RED ALERT: Warning issued over algae at lake
UPDATE, 7.45am: LENNOX Head's popular Lake Ainsworth will be closed for at least two weeks after test results showed high levels of blue green algae.
A red alert was issued for the lake yesterday, and warning signs will be put up today.
Ballina Shire Council's environmental health officer, Rachael Jenner, told ABC North Coast the lake would be closed for at least two weeks, but possibly longer.
She advised people who have been swimming in the lake in recent days to keep an eye out for gastro symptoms and rashes.
Original story: A RED alert has been issued due to the state of the water at Lake Ainsworth.
Ballina Shire Council issued the alert as blue green algae slicks and scums have been observed at the lake.
The alert states large clumps of blue green algae can be observed through the water column. Current advice is to avoid swimming at this time and avoid contact with slicks and scums present on the shore.
Warning signs will be immediately erected by the council as of today (Wednesday January 16).
The council will increase the frequency of blue-green algae sampling and will continue to monitor the situation.
A Red Level Action Mode is in place when >50,000 cells of Microcystis aeruginosa are present or a biovolume of all toxin producing cyanobacteria exceeds 4 mm3/L or if the total of all cyanobacteria (toxic and non toxic) exceeds 10 mm3/L or scums are present for long periods.
At Red Mode, local and health authorities should be contacted to assess risks to recreational users and appropriate measures should be taken to warn water users.
Water should not be used for primary recreation.