Blue-green algae levels set to increase as weather heats up

We are being warned about potential outbreaks of blue-green algae in local waterways this summer as temperatures start to rise.

Seqwater Chief Executive Officer Peter Dennis said a low level of blue-green algae in South East Queensland waterways was not detrimental to the environment.

“Under certain conditions though, the algae can grow rapidly and become a dominating nuisance in our waterways,” Mr Dennis said.


“Blue-green algae blooms generally occur in the warmer months due to increased water temperature and optimal light conditions. So it is likely we will see an increase in the algae in coming weeks.

“Various toxins released by some species of blue-green algae can present a potential health risk to visitors. Exposure to the algae can result in a rash developing. High levels of algae can cause headaches, nausea, muscular pains, diarrhoea and gastroenteritis.”

Mr Dennis said Seqwater closely monitored all lakes for the presence of blue-green algae, in addition to other water quality issues.

“In the instance we do need to close a lake to certain recreation activities we install signage at the lake advising of the closure and update the recreation and safety notices on our website,” he said.

“We also post details of the closure on our Facebook and Twitter accounts so if you follow us on social media, you’ll be among the first to know.

“We understand the impact that recreation closures can have and it is not a decision we take lightly. But public health is our main priority so we appreciate the community’s patience when a closure is in place. Regular monitoring means we can re-open the lake as soon as possible.”

For more information about blue-green algae, a fact sheet is available here.