Water testing confirms Avon algal bloom
Released 25 Feb 2013
Department of Water testing has confirmed a large algal bloom on the Avon River between Northam and Toodyay.
Staff took water samples from sites along the river last week after reports of concerns about the river's visual appearance.
"The department's analysis has identified three species of blue-green algae in the water," Swan Avon region manager Don Cummins said.
"The most affected area is from Katrine Pool through to Cobblers Pool in Toodyay."
The Shires of Toodyay and Northam were contacted to erect signs notifying the public of the bloom.
"The Department of Health advises against recreation in waterways during algal blooms," Mr Cummins said.
He said the bloom was likely to have been sparked by summer rain bringing increased input of nutrients and organic material from the Mortlock River into the system.
"Low rainfall and seasonal low flows in the state's south west inland waterways during the summer months can lead to less dilution of nutrients and in prone areas this may lead to increased algal growth."
The Department of Water will continue to monitor the bloom.
"Tests are analysed by the department and circulated to key agencies responsible for public health including the local shires and the Department of Health," Mr Cummins said.
Contact: Peter Collins
Phone: (08) 6364 6848 / 0434 603 441