Blue green algae in Hazelwood pondage

HAZELWOOD Pondage has been closed following the detection of blue green algae.

GDF Suez Hazelwood’s routine monitoring program for BGA has detected the bloom of potentially toxic algae which has prompted it to close the pondage to the public.

Blue green algae are naturally occurring organisms present in most waterways. The pondage contains different types of algae at varying levels as part of the natural environment of the waterway.

Many factors can trigger a blue green algae bloom such as warm weather conditions, nutrient levels, low water inflows and low storage volumes.

The results of water samples have detected a bloom at various locations along the pondage foreshore. The level of algal growth now makes the waters unsuitable for recreational use.

Warning signs have been erected at all public access points to the pondage advising people to stop using the waterway until further notice. Users of the facility should seek to utilise alternative waterways in the region for activities such as swimming, skiing and windsurfing.

BGA can cause skin allergies, eye irritations and gastric disorders.

People should also avoid eating fish caught from the pondage.

Some green discolouration or odours can be expected and surface scums may affect some areas.

GDF Suez will continue to regularly monitor the water and liaise with other authorities.