ARARAT residents have raised questions regarding the colour of the water at Alexandra Gardens Lake in Ararat.
Ararat Rural City chief executive Tim Harrison said Council had this week sent a water sample from the Alexandra Gardens Lake for testing for blue-green algae levels.
Signage warning the public about blue-green algae have been in place for months.
Dr Harrison said the Council always assumed that there was some level of blue green algae in the lake due to the stagnant nature of the water body.
The State Government's water website states that blue-green algae is a common seasonal occurrence in Victoria and a natural component of most aquatic systems, including streams, lakes, estuaries and the sea.
Blooms - a spike in the algae level - can be triggered by nutrient levels, low inflows, lower storage volumes and warmer weather conditions, and are often accompanied by a blue-green skin on top of the water. Blooms develop a paint-like consistency as they dry out and can have a pungent smell.
"While we are yet to receive the test results, Ararat Rural City Council cares about the community's safety so we are asking residents not to have contact with the water or allow their pets to drink from or swim in the lake," Dr Harrison said.
"If people come into contact with contaminated water, you should wash immediately in fresh water and seek medical advice if you fall ill as a result. Pet owners should seek veterinarian advice if animals come into direct contact with the contaminated water.
"The warning signs at Alexandra Lake will stay in place until test results show algae levels have dropped to acceptable levels. In the meantime, we will continue to monitor the situation."
For more information contact Ararat Rural City Council's Health Department on 5355 0262.
General information about BGA can be found on the State Government's water website - https://www.water.vic.gov.au/waterways-and-catchments/rivers-estuaries-and-waterways/blue-green-algae
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