Tweed water supply contamination warning
TWEED Shire Council has confirmed the region's water supply remains safe to drink after Water NSW released an alert this morning warning residents to avoid showering and washing in water sourced from the Bray Park Weir.
Council water and wastewater manager Anthony Burnham said treated water from the Bray Park Weir remained safe to drink despite a red alert being issued for blue-green algae.
"Council draws water from the weir for treatment at the Bray Park Water Treatment Plant before it is distributed to our water customers and treated water from the mains supply remains perfectly safe to drink," Mr Burnham said.
"The treatment process used at the Bray Park Plant removes the potential toxins in the raw water, together with taste and odour compounds, making the treated water perfectly safe for consumption."
The raw water, however, is not safe to drink and is potentially harmful to people, pets and stock.
TWEED Shire Council has issued a Red Alert level warning (high alert) for blue-green algae in the Bray Park Weir.
A Water NSW spokesperson said the the algae could be the result of water holes in the Tweed and Oxley Rivers upstream of the weir.
They said water users in these areas should apply a high level of caution and consider alternate water supplies for stock and domestic purposes.
Blue-green algae usually appear as green paint-like scums on the water, near the edges, or as greenish clumps throughout the water.
It makes the water appear dirty, green or discoloured and generally has a strong musty or earthy odour.
Blue-green algae scums have been observed in the weir and have the potential to move around in wind and currents.
A Red Alert level warning indicates that people should not undertake recreational activities where they may come into direct contact with untreated water such as swimming, as well as showering and washing.
Contact with the water may also pose a threat to pets.
Warning signs are positioned at key recreational areas and will remain in place while high levels of blue-green algae are present.
The species of blue-green algae identified are potentially toxic and may cause gastroenteritis in humans if consumed and skin and eye irritations after contact.
People are advised not to enter the water or drink untreated water while this Red Alert level warning is in place. Boiling the water does not remove algal toxins. Town water supplies remain unaffected and safe to drink.
People should not eat mussels or crayfish from Red Alert warning areas.
Any fish caught should be cleaned and washed thoroughly in uncontaminated water and any internal organs disposed of before consumption.
It is not possible to predict how long the algae will remain at high levels. Regular monitoring will continue by Tweed Shire Council and the alert will be lifted as soon as the high levels of algae dissipate.
People who believe they may have been affected by blue-green algae are advised to seek medical advice.
Updates about blue-green algae blooms and red level warning areas can be obtained by calling 1800 999 457 or visiting - http://www.waternsw.com.au/water-quality/algae