The blue-green algae ‘red alert’ continues at Harrington Park Lake.
Previously extending out to Grand Prix Lake, Oran Park and Harrington Park Wetlands, the alert from Camden Council is currently isolated to Harrington Park Lakes, as of May 5.
Council has identified that the algae at present levels is deemed to be a health risk when in contact with the water.
Waterways Project Officer, Aditi Verma has stated that mild contact interactions may result in rashes and skin irritation. Longer contact with an infected water body can do damage to the liver, nerves, skin and gastrointestinal system.
“If any person comes into contact with a waterbody suspected to have blue-green algae, they are recommended to seek medical advice and inform the managing authority of the waterbody.” said Ms Verma.
Any health implications are dependent on the duration of contact with water and the concentration of toxins of the blue-green algae in the water.
Council has advised residents, both human and animal should currently avoid contact with the water in the lake. This includes drinking, fishing, swimming, boating and allowing pets to enter the water.
“Not all blue-green algae species produce toxins that are harmful to humans or animals.” said Ms Verma.
Under certain conditions, the algae can grow rapidly, producing an algal bloom. This usually appear in warmer months when there is plenty of sunlight available and low rainfall.
The affected water can appear to have blue-green tinge, with bright blue-green scum appearing along banks, or have a musty odour.
In normal conditions, the blue-green algae exist in low numbers and are a part of a healthy ecosystem.
Signage has been erected around the lake and will continue to stay in place while alert levels remain high. Updates and further information can be found on Camden Council website.
The current management actions that Camden Council abiding by are guided by the WaterNSW Metropolitan and South Coast Regional Algal Management Guidelines.
Although it is not possible to predict how long the algae will remain at high levels, Camden council continues to monitor the water.