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Thursday, April 22, 2021

Updated: Extreme blue-green algae alert for Lake Tuggeranong

An extreme alert for blue-green algae has been issued for Lake Tuggeranong and the water is closed to all primary contact-recreation – activities like swimming, diving, waterskiing and windsurfing.

The ACT Government issued the alert yesterday, Wednesday 10 March.

Primary contact recreation includes whole-body water contact or submersion of the head. Secondary-contact recreation is still permitted – activities such as rowing, fishing, boating and canoeing – but the ACT Government recommends avoiding contact with the water and showering after contact.

Contact with algal scum should be especially avoided and clothing should be washed after contact.

The alert for Tuggeranong comes after the National Capital Authority issued an update on blue-green algae levels in Lake Burley Griffin, with a number of areas including Yarralumla Beach, Yarralumla Bay, Acton West Jetty and the Central Basin closed to primary-contact recreation.

The ACT Government in a statement said symptoms of blue-green algae exposure can include skin, mucosa and eye irritation, flu-like symptoms, hay fever-like symptoms and gastrointestinal illness.

“Water event organisers should ensure all participants are aware of the blue-green algae Alert Level, the associated exposure risks and provide adequate shower facilities,” the statement said.

“Pet owners should not allow their animals to swim in or drink the water, as blue-green algae can make pets very ill or even result in death.”

A photo from local photographer Vishal Pandey shows widespread algae in Lake Burley Griffin from the vantage point of a hot air balloon.

“The lake is covered with blue green algae, which is smelly and not good for anyone planning on doing activities on the lake, but it sure does look stunning,” he wrote on Instagram.

For more information on blue-green algae and alert levels, visit environment.act.gov.au for ACT Government-managed waterways and nca.gov.au for Lake Burley Griffin.

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