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18 October 2023

Amber alert for blue-green algae at Bray Park Weir

Tap water in the Tweed remains safe

Blue-green algae in Bray Park Weir

Council has issued an amber alert for blue-green algae at Bray Park Weir (pictured on 17 October 2023). Tap water across the Tweed remains safe to drink and bathe in.

Tweed Shire Council has issued an amber alert for blue-green algae in the Tweed River at Bray Park Weir, however tap water across the Tweed remains safe to drink and bathe in. 

Manager Water and Wastewater Operations Brie Jowett said the amber alert meant blue-green algae might be multiplying in the affected waterway.

“Bray Park Weir is the source of water for the Bray Park Water Treatment Plant, the plant that supplies drinking water for most of the Tweed,” Mrs Jowett said.

“Testing by the NATA-accredited Tweed Laboratory Centre found no evidence in the Bray Park Weir pool 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 so our water would remain perfectly safe to drink.”

Further upstream at Clarrie Hall Dam, a green alert for blue-green algae remains in place, issued on 30 November 2022. A green alert means algae is present in low densities in the dam.

Council is continuing to monitor the situation and is testing twice a week at the dam, Bray Park Weir and Tweed River at Uki while ensuring water is treated appropriately for the conditions.

To inform the public of the presence of blue-green algae and any potential risk, warning signs are being placed along the Tweed River near Bray Park including Byangum Bridge.

Signs remain in place at Clarrie Hall Dam wall and Crams Farm.

Mrs Jowett said Council was taking a precautionary approach and advising against recreational activities in the Tweed River upstream of Bray Park Weir.

“At this time, we advise people not to touch water in the affected waterways, including recreational activities such as swimming or kayaking,” Mrs Jowett said.

“Do not eat fish or shellfish from the waterways and keep animals away.

“Please remember, never drink untreated river water at any time.

“During the bloom, do not water livestock with untreated river water upstream of the weir. If you come into contact with the algae, rinse it off with fresh water and seek medical advice if symptoms appear.”

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.

Affected water may appear to have a green, paint-like scum on the water, near the edges or greenish clumps throughout the water and can have a musty odour.

Go to tweed.nsw.gov.au/waterandwastewater for the latest information.

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

Alert tile


Photo 1: Blue-green algae - Bray Park Weir
Caption: Council has issued an amber alert for blue-green algae at Bray Park Weir (pictured on 17 October 2023). Tap water across the Tweed remains safe to drink and bathe in.

Photo 2: Blue-green algae alert tile
Caption: Blue-green algae alert tile.

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 lore, customs and traditions.
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