Blue-green algae

Overview

Blue-green algae, or cyanobacteria, are the most ancient of all photosynthetic organisms. Some produce poisons harmful to humans and possibly fatal to domestic animals and fish - neurotoxins and liver toxins, and skin allergens.

Algal blooms can cause waters to be unsafe for all users of water including agriculture, irrigation and recreation.

It is essential that all persons affected by blue-green algae understand what it is, and what the potential impacts of the algae may be to them or their business or recreational activities.

Current situation

The NSW Office of Water website provides up-to-date information for NSW on the algae situation. This site also includes tips for identifying algae, key contacts for more information, impacts of blue-green algal blooms, and locations where a red or amber alert is in place.

WaterNSW has an automated notification system, the Early Warning Network (EWN), to improve notification of dam and supply activities to the public. When you register, you nominate the dam(s) you are interested in and the type of notifications required. Once registered, you will receive notifications in the event of a significant dam release or an emergency situation depending on which you choose.

Information updates about blue-green algal blooms and red alert warning areas can be obtained from the Regional Algal Coordinating Committee, freecall Algal Information Hotline on 1800 999 457.

Information for landholders