6 December 2018

Swimming banned in Lake Tuggeranong due to extreme blue-green algae levels

| Lachlan Roberts
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Lake Tuggeranong has been closed from swimming due to extreme blue-green algae levels. File photo.

Swimming has been banned in Lake Tuggeranong due to extreme blue-green algae levels in the lake, with health experts warning of the effects of the water.

Following advice from ACT Health, the Environment Protection Authority has issued an extreme alert level for blue-green algae in Lake Tuggeranong, cautioning Canberrans against swimming, diving, waterskiing and windsurfing on the lake.

The authority said recreation such as rowing, fishing, boating and canoeing is still permitted but warned people of the potential risks of being exposed to the water.

Environment Protection Authority spokesperson said people should only engage in secondary-contact recreation if they are experienced, are aware of the algae risks and what to do if contact occurs, and if they do not submerge into water.

Contact with water with high levels of blue-green algae can cause symptoms such as eye or skin irritations, sore throats or gastro in humans.

“In particular, contact with algal scum should be avoided and clothing that has been in the water should be washed to remove any blue-green algae residue,” the spokesperson said.

“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. Pet owners should also 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.”

Anyone concerned about possible symptoms of blue-green algae exposure following water exposure should contact their GP.

For more information on blue-green algae and alert levels, click here or contact the Environment Protection Authority through Access Canberra on 13 22 81.

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Capital Retro11:09 am 07 Dec 18

I wasn’t aware that water skiing was allowed on Lake Tuggeranong.

At least both Federal and ACT governments saw this problem coming and decided to do something about. Money well spent I think.

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