Red patches ‘not worth panic’ say water officials

Turners Beach Yamba
Turners Beach Yamba

STATE and council authorities believe there is no cause for concern about coastal water quality, despite reports by local surfers of red patches off Turner's Beach at Yamba.

New South Wales Office of Water spokeswoman Anne Brooke said the authority was not aware of any serious incidents of algal blooms off the Clarence Coast at present.

"Quite often patches of algae can be here today, gone tomorrow types of things depending on wind and tide conditions," she said.

Ms Brooke did, however, advise residents to contact the authority about any concerns and that patches of algae should be avoided until the full situation was known.

"If people do see any red spots they should steer clear until exactly what it is can be determined," she said.

Clarence Valley Council deputy general manager Des Schroder said he was not aware of any unusual incidents of algae around Yamba but would look into the matter.

"You'll usually get naturally occurring patches of trichodesmium algae floating up and down the coast from September through to February," he said.

Mr Schroder said while there was nothing out of the ordinary to report, swimmers and beach goers should try to avoid any contact with any algae.

"The council's advice to locals is not to swim where there's algae because it can cause itchy skin rashes and can also be harmful for pets," he said. Mr Schroder said trichodesmium algae could be identified as looking like an oil spill.

Topics:  algae turners beach

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