Blue-green algae amber alert at Buronga

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16 October 2020

There is an amber alert in place for Buronga and a green alert current for Curlwaa.

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.

The dominant nitrogen fixing species detected at stations located in the lower Murray is the invasive Sphaerospermopsis aphanizomenoides. The occurrence of S. aphanizomenoides has been correlated with several environmental parameters. Notably, factors which control the formation of the akinetes (spores or resting cells) of S. aphanizomenoides are both the concentration of phosphate in the water and temperature. This cyanobacterium was until recently found in tropical and subtropical regions; however it has expanded its geographical range to temperate zones.

Blue-green algae usually appear as green paint-like scums on the water, near the edges, or as greenish clumps throughout the water. It makes the water appear dirty, green or discoloured and generally has a strong musty or earthy odour.

People who believe they may have been affected by blue-green algae are advised to seek medical advice.

Updates about blue-green algae blooms and red level warning areas can be obtained by calling 1800 999 457 or visiting –

 Media Contact – Tony Webber – 0428 613 478

 General inquiries – Dr Elizabeth Symes- 02 6022 5326

Due to the number of enquiries water utilities have received  from the public regarding taste and odour issues a fact sheet can be located at, Goulburn Valley Water Murray River Taste and Odour Fact Sheet.    Water utilities have described the 2019/20 conditions along the Murray River from Albury/Wodonga to Mildura/Buronga as unprecedented.



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