Visitors to Seqwater lakes have been warned about potential outbreaks of blue-green algae this summer as temperatures start to rise.

The detection of the algae can lead to recreation restrictions at our lakes.

Seqwater communication manager Mike Foster said blue-green algal blooms generally occur in the warmer months due to increased water temperature and optimal light conditions.

“It means we are likely to see an increase in the algae in coming weeks and months,’’ he said.

“Algae is a naturally occurring bacteria and under certain conditions can grow rapidly and become a dominating nuisance in our waterways.

“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 skin rash developing. High levels of algae can cause headaches, nausea, muscular pains, diarrhoea and gastroenteritis.”

In an effort to keep lake users safe Seqwater has improved the way it communicates about recreational access before and during blue-green algal blooms.

Mr Foster said the improvements included the creation of a blue-green algae trigger level meter—The Algometer—which indicates to the public levels of toxicity and what water-based recreational activities are permitted.

“We’ve made these improvements in response to community feedback and following a detailed review of our recreation management response to blue-green algal blooms,” Mr Foster said.

“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.

“Seqwater can now provide detailed and up-to-date information about blue-green algae levels for each of our lakes. It’s easy to access and understand.

“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.

“Almost 2.6 million visitors enjoy our region’s lakes each year, and we want to make sure that everyone plays it safe and has an enjoyable time.”

Signage about what water-based recreation activities are allowed during algal blooms will also be erected at Seqwater lakes during blue-green algae outbreaks.

For the latest updates, visit www.seqwater.com.au/recreation, follow Seqwater on social media or download the Seqwater public safety app.