ARARAT - Ararat Rural City Council has issued a warning that a blue-green algae bloom is currently affecting Alexandra Lake in Ararat.
The public is warned not to swim in and to avoid direct contact with any contaminated water.
Direct contact with blue-green algae can cause skin rashes or itchiness, sore eyes, ears and nose or if swallowed gastroenteritis, nausea or vomiting.
People who come in to contact with contaminated water should wash immediately in fresh water and seek medical advice if illness is experienced after contact with BGA affected water.
The type of algae affecting Alexandra Lake produces toxins that can be taken up by fish species and accumulate in the liver and internal organs. Ingestion of BGA toxins can lead to serious illness. Therefore whole fish collected from the area should have gills and guts removed prior to cooking.
Water from the affected water body should not be used for drinking, cooking or other domestic uses. Boiling the affected water will not make it safe for use.
Pet owners are also encouraged to prevent pets from drinking or having direct contact with contaminated water.
For more information regarding Blue Green Algae in Alexandra Lake contact Ararat Rural City Council's health department on (03) 5355 0221 or go to www.ararat.vic.gov.au.