Blue green algae at Bray Park Weir last week.
Blue green algae at Bray Park Weir last week.

Tweed’s water safe to drink despite toxic algae bloom

TESTING has revealed the blue-green algal bloom in the Bray Park Weir pool has the gene capable of producing toxin.

However Tweed Shire Council remains steadfast that treated water from the reticulated supply remains safe to drink.

The blue-green algae alert remains at amber for the weir and green for Clarrie Hall Dam.

At the dam, a different species of the algae which also has a gene capable of producing toxin, has been detected.

Water and wastewater operations manager Brie Jowett said water treatment processes were designed to remove algae and potential toxins, together with taste and odour compounds, making the treated water safe for consumption.

Blue green algae at Bray Park Weir last week.
Blue green algae at Bray Park Weir last week.

The council will increase the frequency of testing the raw water in the Tweed River and at the weir, and adjust its treatment processes as required.

“Again our tests show while the species in the (Clarrie Hall) dam has the gene capable of producing toxin there is no evidence that it has produced toxin,” Ms Jowett said.

The council draws water from the upstream side of the weir for treatment at the Bray Park Water Treatment Plant before it is distributed to water customers.

Blue-green algae occurs naturally and can reproduce quickly in favourable conditions where there is still or slow-flowing water, abundant sunlight and sufficient levels of nutrients.

Signs advising the public of the presence of blue-green algae and any potential risk have been placed at the public access points to the river near Bray Park, including Byangum Bridge.

There are also signs at the dam wall and Crams Farm advising recreational users of the dam to stay away from the water.

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