Treated water from the Tweed mains supply is not affected by a green alert for blue-green algae being issued for Clarrie Hall Dam.
Treated water from the Tweed mains supply is not affected by a green alert for blue-green algae being issued for Clarrie Hall Dam.

Blue-green algae alert upgraded at weir

THE alert for blue-green algae in the Tweed River at Bray Park Weir has been upgraded to amber.

However the council remains adamant treated water from Tweed's water supply was still safe to drink and the algae in the weir has been tested and found to be a non-toxic species.

Water and wastewater operations manager Brie Jowett said the council draws water from the upstream side of the weir for treatment at the Bray Park Water Treatment Plant before it was distributed to customers.

She explained the water treatment processes at Bray Park Water Treatment Plant, and the smaller plants at Uki and Tyalgum, were designed to remove potential toxins, together with taste and odour compounds.

This makes treated water safe for consumption and pleasant tasting even when algae blooms occur in the raw water.

Blue-green algae occur naturally and can reproduce quickly in favourable conditions where there is still or slow-flowing water, abundant sunlight and sufficient levels of nutrients.

Tweed Shire Council will continue to test the water twice a week.

Signs at public access points to the river near Bray Park, including Byangum Bridge, are being put up to advise the public of the presence of blue-green algae and any potential risk.

Meanwhile, the blue-green algae alert at Clarrie Hall Dam remains at green.

"Our tests show the species in the dam has the gene capable of producing toxin, but there is no evidence that it has produced toxin," Mrs Jowett said.

However, the council was taking a precautionary approach and continuing to restrict recreational activities at the dam.

Warning signs at the dam wall and Crams Farm will stay in place advising recreational kayakers or fishers not to come into contact with the water.

Clarrie Hall Dam, the Uki pool where raw water is drawn for treatment for Uki village and the Tyalgum Weir pool are being tested weekly.