Beware of algae in Bray Park

THE light rain on the weekend was nowhere near enough to move the Bray Park Weirpool off an amber alert level for blue green algae.

North Coast Regional Algal Co-ordinating Committee spokesperson Brian Dodd said the algae had reached a level where it could be harmful to humans and animals.

“Medium levels of blue-green algae have been recorded in the Bray Park Weirpool and accordingly, we wish to advise landholders in the catchment area upstream of Bray Park Weir to be aware of the situation,” Mr Dodd said.

“There is potential for harmful effects of blue-green algae and the community who use the river for recreation should be aware that contact with the affected water could result in skin rashes and eye and ear irritations.”

“Ingesting the water can lead to diarrhoea and long term health problems. Asthma attacks can also be brought on by contact with blue-green algae.”

“We also advise landholders that stock should not be allowed to drink from the foreshores of and immediately upstream of Bray Park Weir and all animals should be kept away from the waterway as affected stock may die.”

As this is a source of water supply for the Tweed, Council is currently treating the water by the use of activated carbon to remove possible taste, odour and toxicity problems.

Mr Dodd said a downpour of rain would be needed to flush the weir of blue-green algae and the light falls at the weekend would not have had much affect.

Although the overcast weather may slow the algae's growth, it thrives in hot, dry conditions.

Tweed Shire Council is monitoring the situation with regular sampling and analysis of the affected water and asks that the public heed the warning signs put up by council.

“The committee urges landholders along the river to keep an eye on the waterway and report blooms. It is with this assistance the effects of blue-green algae blooms can be mitigated,” Mr Dodd added.

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