The Bray Park Weir.
The Bray Park Weir.

Algae levels have ‘quadrupled’ at dam in a week

Treated water remains safe to drink despite some supplies on the Tweed being subject to blue-green algae alerts.

Tweed Shire Council has today issued amber alerts for blue-green algae for the Tweed River at Uki and Bray Park Weir.

"Council testing has shown the level of blue-green algae has quadrupled at the dam in the past week, most likely due to the high level of nutrients washed into the dam by the December rains and continuing hot weather," the council said in a statement.]

"Despite this, potentially toxic species of blue-green algae currently are not dominant.

"The dam is full and spilling to Doon Doon Creek, a tributary of the Tweed River, allowing algae to flow downstream to Uki and Bray Park Weir."

The council draws raw from Uki; this is treated in the village's plant and again at Bray Park Weir before making its way to most of the shire's homes with reticulated supplies.

"Council's water treatment processes are designed to remove any potential toxin from blue-green algae," the council said.

"Treatment also removes any taste and odour compounds from the algae."

The council said testing would be increased to monitor for algal blooms.

Treatment processes will be adjusted as required.

"Amber alerts mean recreational users of the dam and river should not come into contact with the water and livestock should not drink the water as it could potentially be toxic," the council said.

"Signs have been placed at popular recreational access points to warn the public of the risks.

"Blue-green algae occur naturally and can reproduce quickly in favourable conditions."

Affected water appears to have a green paint-like scum, near the edges, or greenish clumps throughout the water.

Anyone who thinks they may have been in contact with blue-green algal water is advised to seek medical advice if symptoms appear.