Lake Lonsdale blue-green algae outbreak

LAKE Lonsdale is unsafe for human use following an outbreak of blue-green algae.

GWMWater has warned people to avoid direct contact with water in the lake.

The authority warned if contaminated water contacted human skin it could cause skin rashes, itchiness, sore eyes, ears and nose or, if swallowed, might induce nausea and vomiting.

Customer relations manager Helen Friend said warning signs were in place at major recreational areas around the lake.

“They will remain in place while the warning is current,” she said.

“The signs advise people of what they can and can’t do.”

Mrs Friend said people could continue to boat on the lake but they should avoid direct contact with the water.

“We will continue to monitor the lake and will advise the community as soon as the algae levels drop,” she said.

GWMWater recommends anyone who comes in contact with the water  to wash affected skin immediately. 

Lake Lonsdale Action Group has been fighting to stop water being released from Lake Lonsdale into Mt William Creek.

GWMWater released about 500 megalitres from the lake into Mt William Creek over summer.

Group president Ray Howard said the water level was dropping.

“People can get a boat in the water but only if they drag it out – they can’t get a boat in from the boat ramp,” he said.

“Lakes with low water levels don’t attract a lot of visitors, but there are nice fish out there.”

He said it was disappointing the lake now had blue-green algae because even fewer people would visit.

“There is not a lot you can do though, we just have to wait until it goes,” he said.

Mr Howard said he hoped it rained soon.

“We’ve had a dry spring and a dry summer unfortunately,” he said.

“But a review of bulk water entitlements is coming up soon so hopefully we can change a few things.

“With the pipeline now, there should be enough water for everyone but it’s not the case.”

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