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5 May 2023

Amber alert for blue-green algae at Clarrie Hall Dam  

Tweed tap water remains safe  

Male Albert's Lyrebird in breeding display

The Tweed's water remains safe to drink and bathe in despite an amber alert issued for blue-green algae at Clarrie Hall Dam.

While Tweed Shire Council today raised the blue-green algae alert to amber for Clarrie Hall Dam, tap water across the Tweed remains safe to drink and bathe in.  

The amber alert means blue-green algae may be multiplying and the affected dam water may have a green tinge and a musty or organic odour.  

Council’s Water and Wastewater Operations manager Brie Jowett said testing by the NATA-accredited Tweed Laboratory Centre had found no evidence of the algal species capable of producing toxin.  

“Even if this species was there, Council’s water treatment processes are very robust - we remove blue-green algae from the water when blooms occur,” Mrs Jowett said.  

“This makes our tap water safe for drinking and pleasant-tasting even when algae bloom in the dam. 

“Currently the Tweed’s tap water is being drawn from the Tweed River at Bray Park Weir. 

“The river flow over Bray Park Weir is healthy, minimising the likelihood of a potential algae alert for the weir at this time.” 

Council will continue testing twice a week within Clarrie Hall Dam to monitor the algal bloom.  

Monitoring at the Tweed River at Uki and Bray Park Weir will continue twice a week. 

In November 2022, Council issued a green alert for blue-green algae at Clarrie Hall Dam and warned visitors not to undertake recreational activities or eat fish caught at the dam.  

Mrs Jowett said the warning remained.  

“We advise everyone to continue to avoid recreational activities on the dam, including kayaking,” she said.  

“Do not eat fish including shellfish from the dam and never drink untreated dam or river water at any time.  

“Because water in the dam and its upstream and downstream tributaries potentially could be unsafe to livestock, keep animals away and do not water livestock with untreated water. 

“If you come into contact with the algae, rinse it off with fresh water and seek medical advice if symptoms appear.”  

Warning signs remain in place at the dam wall and Crams Farm, informing the public of the presence of blue-green algae and any potential risk. 

Blue-green algae occurs naturally and can reproduce quickly in still or slow-flowing water when it is warm and sunny, and the water is nutrient-rich. 

For the latest, visit Council's website at tweed.nsw.gov.au/waterandwastewater

For more information on blue-green algae, visit waternsw.com.au/water-quality/algae


Photo 1: Clarrie Hall Dam
Caption: Tweed Shire Council has issued an amber alert for blue-green algae at Clarrie Hall Dam. Tap water across the Tweed remains safe to drink and bathe in. 

Connection to Council’s Community Strategic Plan:

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Tweed Shire Council wishes to acknowledge the Ngandowal and Minyungbal speaking people of the Bundjalung Country, in particular the Goodjinburra, Tul-gi-gin and Moorung – Moobah clans, as being the traditional owners and custodians of the land and waters within the Tweed Shire boundaries. Council also acknowledges and respects the Tweed Aboriginal community’s right to speak for its Country and to care for its traditional Country in accordance with its laws, customs and traditions.
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