Algal bloom at Mermaid lake

15 February 2017

The City of Gold Coast has closed Lake Hugh Muntz in Mermaid Waters due to the presence of high levels of blue-green algae.

The algal bloom was detected by City officers and, in conjunction with the Gold Coast Public Health Unit, the City has taken the step to close the lake to swimming.

Division 10 Councillor Paul Taylor advised against activities where residents may have contact with the water.

“Algal bloom outbreaks can occur naturally in the city’s lake systems, especially in the summer months. They are usually due to a combination of changes to outside temperature and water turnover,” Cr Taylor said.

“We have contacted regular users of the lake, have placed signage at public access areas and are today notifying residents to avoid contact with the water. That includes keeping pets away.”

Blue-green algae is a type of cyanobacteria that has characteristics of algae and bacteria. Under certain environmental conditions, blue-green algae concentrations in water can rapidly increase and form visible blooms or ‘scums’.

Not all blue-green algae is toxic and species that are toxic do not always produce toxins. However, in order to minimise risk it is requested that residents refrain from:

  • consuming seafood such as fish
  • water contact with skin
  • allowing animals to enter the lake or drink the water; and
  • irrigating with lake water

“Council will continue to monitor the water, and communicate with residents when water quality recovers,” he said.

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