Blue green algae bloom detected in Alexandra Gardens Lake

Posted Monday 3 February, 01:12pm

Ararat Rural City Council is encouraging residents to take care around Alexandra Gardens Lake after water from the lake tested positive to high levels of blue green algae.

Ararat Rural City CEO Dr Tim Harrison said Council this week received test results that showed high levels of the algae were detected, with the level sufficient to pose health risks if people come into contact with the water.

Dr Harrison said signs warning the public have been erected around the lake at the popular Alexandra Gardens for months as the Council always assumes that there is some level of blue green algae in the lake due to the stagnant nature of the water body.

The State Government’s water website states that blue-green algae is a common seasonal occurrence in Victoria and a natural component of most aquatic systems, including streams, lakes, estuaries and the sea.

Blooms – a spike in the algae level – can be triggered by nutrient levels, low inflows, lower storage volumes and warmer weather conditions, and are often accompanied by a blue-green skin on top of the water. Blooms develop a paint-like consistency as they dry out and can have a pungent smell.

“Ararat Rural City Council is urging the community not to have contact with the water in the lake, or allow their pets to drink from or swim in the lake,” Dr Harrison said.

“If people come into contact with contaminated water, you should wash immediately in fresh water and seek medical advice if you fall ill as a result. Pet owners should seek veterinarian advice if animals come into direct contact with the contaminated water.

“The warning signs at Alexandra Lake will stay in place until test results show algae levels have dropped to acceptable levels. In the meantime, we will continue to monitor the situation.”

For more information contact Ararat Rural City Council’s Health Department on 5355 0262. General information about BGA can be found on the State Government’s water website – https://www.water.vic.gov.au/waterways-and-catchments/rivers-estuaries-and-waterways/blue-green-algae