AS of last week, Lower Murray Water (LMW) reported that the previously issued high-level algal warning (Red Alert) issued by WaterNSW for the Murray River downstream of Merbein Pump Station to Lock 9 had been lifted.
The Red Alert for the localised algal bloom at Buronga (including this localised section of the Mildura weir pool) issued by WaterNSW remains current and as this picture taken last Friday shows, the algal blooms are still present in Mildura.
What this means for LMW rural customers
Merbein to Lock 9 reach:
As the Red Alert has been lifted, customers are advised they can fill tank supplies but remain prepared to isolate should levels rise again.
Mildura private diversion customers
:
Private diversion customers in the area of the Red Alert (localised section of the Mildura weir pool) are advised to keep tank supplies isolated. A minimum of 10 days between successive low readings is required before a Red Alert can be lifted (was issued on 1 April) this would be in place for a minimum of approximately two weeks from then.
Mildura irrigation district customers:
Mildura irrigation district customers including the Benetook system, are supplied from the Central Pump Station located in Kings Billabong. This area is not in the current localised Red Alert area issued by WaterNSW and sampling results are low in this location. Customers are advised to top up their tanks and be prepared to isolate. Ongoing sampling is being undertaken and customers will be notified if levels rise in this area.
Red Alert level warning
A Red Alert level warning indicates that people should not undertake recreational activities where they may be coming into direct contact with the water. Contact with the water may also pose a threat to livestock, and pets. 
People are advised not to enter the water, not to drink untreated water or bathe in untreated water while a Red Alert level warning is in place.
Boiling the water will not remove algal toxins.
 People should not eat fish, mussels or crayfish from Red Alert warning areas.
Blue-green algae are naturally occurring organisms that live in rivers, lakes and waterways.
 Blue-green algae usually appear as green paint-like scums on the water, near the edges, or as greenish clumps throughout the water.
Blue-green algae are actually a type of bacteria known as Cyanobacteria. Despite being called algae, they only have some things in common—they photosynthesise using light to produce oxygen and they need sunlight to grow. Blue-green algae are a natural part of the freshwater environment.
If conditions are favourable, they can reproduce at very high rates to form ‘blooms’ which sometimes produce toxic scums and impact river users and environments.
WaterNSW and LMW will continue to monitor water quality along the river impacted by the algal bloom and report the results as they become available.
 Signage has been erected in strategic locations in affected sections of the river, advising recreational users that harmful algae may be present in the water.
 SMS messages have been sent to those LMW rural customers registered to receive SMS, within affected sections of the river, advising them to isolate tank supplies.