Broadwater no-go zone after algal bloom outbreak

Swimmers are being warned to avoid a section of the Broadwater after an algal bloom outbreak.

The algae has been detected between Mitchell Park at Southport and Harley Park in Labrador.

The bloom has been identified as Lyngbya majuscula which is also known as “mermaids hair” or “fireweed”.


Council says it’s a naturally occurring plant organism that becomes more prevalent in warmer water.

The algae can cause skin irritations if people come into contact with it.

Executive Coordinator, Environmental Health and Safety, Belinda Davies says people should steer clear of the water.

“Catchment management team has undertaken a series of testing and that’s one of the reasons we’re issuing advice not to come into contact with the algae because the analysis has shown this particular type of algae is releasing a chemical that is a skin and eye irritant,” Ms Davies said.

Signs have been put up in the affected areas warning people of the risks of going into the water.

The rest of the Broadwater has not been affected by the algal bloom.

Ms Davies says Council is continuing to monitor the situation closely but isn’t sure how long the bloom will last.

“Blooms like this are affected by a number of factors within the natural environment such as sunlight, the depth of the water and also at the moment the spread is being affected by the high winds.”

“So it’s hard so its hard to know how long this particular bloom will continue because we’re really at the mercy of the natural environment and nature.”

Ms Davies says experts will meet next week to ensure they have the most appropriate strategy for dealing with the bloom.