Algae outbreak at Toonumbar

Samples of water show an increase of blue-green algae.
Samples of water show an increase of blue-green algae. CSIRO

A RED ALERT has been issued following an outbreak of blue-green algae at Toonumbar dam, west of Kyogle.

The alert was issued after a high level of algae was found in a routine sample taken from the dam on February 21.

Blue-green algae produces poisons which are harmful to humans and possibly fatal to domestic animals and fish.

“Residents and visitors should avoid all contact with the algal bloom and ensure animals, such as dogs, are kept away from the bloom,” said Brian Dodd, spokesman for the North Coast Algal Co-ordinating Committee, which issued the alert.

Blue-green algae outbreaks at Toonumbar dam are not common.

Warning signs have been placed around the dam and will remain in place until the bloom subsides.

“This outbreak is the first for quite some time,” Mr Dodd said.

Kyogle’s water supply is unaffected by the outbreak as water is sourced from the Richmond River upstream of the dam.

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