Melbourne Water advising people to avoid contact with Werribee River after blue-green algae detected

People are being urged to avoid contact with a section of the Werribee River due to the detection of harmful blue-green algae.

Testing has confirmed the presence of an algal bloom, which commonly occur in the hot, dry conditions of summer, downstream or south of the Maltby Bypass.

Melbourne Water Waterways manager Cameron Howie said there were many forms of the blue-green algae and the species currently present in the river could be harmful to animals or humans.

“It’s important that people and their pets avoid contact with the water and make sure that it does not come into contact with their skin or eyes,” Mr Howie said.

“Anyone who diverts water from the Werribee River downstream of the Maltby Bypass should stop doing so while the bloom is active.”

Mr Howie said signs had been placed in the area to warn people of the potential hazards and regular sampling of the water would continue to monitor the problem.

Melbourne Water is working with other authorities to manage the algae bloom in line with State Government guidelines.

An environmental water release from Melton Reservoir scheduled for this week is hoped to assist water quality issues in the river by providing fresh flows to the system.

Blue-green algae occurs naturally in waterways and typically in summer, and erupts into blooms during hot weather, periods of drought or where there is an accumulation of nutrients in waterways or water bodies.

 

Photo: The Werribee River Park.

View original article at: Melbourne Water advising people to avoid contact with Werribee River after blue-green algae detected

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