Algal bloom warning for Wellstead estuary in Bremer Bay

23 December 2014

In April 2014, the Department of Health issued a warning for people to avoid contact with an algal bloom that has formed in the Wellstead Estuary in Bremer Bay.

In consultation with the Department for Health, the Shire of Jerramungup placed health warning signs at the main access points leading into the affected waterway. The signs have been in place since April 2014.

Retesting of the waterway during September and December has revealed that algal levels have declined but still remain at a high level.

According to Bill Parker the Shire of Jerramungup’s Chief Executive Officer, the recent test results remain disappointing. “We realise that the Wellstead Estuary plays a very important role in the overall enjoyment of Bremer Bay. Given that the cell density counts remain high and contact with, or ingestion of affected water may cause some ill health effects and skin irritation, we are recommending that recreational activities such as swimming, wading,  and shellfish collection in the Wellstead Estuary should be avoided, particularly where discolouration is still visible”. Fish and crabs are not affected by the bloom, but should be washed in clean fresh water and cooked.

“Further sampling will be carried out in the New Year and we hope that the algal levels will decrease to an acceptable level to once again enable full community use of the Wellstead Estuary” he said.

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