Blue Pools bloom here to stay over summer
IF you're hoping for a swim in the Blue or Green Pools this summer, you may be in for a long wait.
According to coordinator of Natural Resource Manager with Clarence Valley Council Rodney Wright, based on historical testing, it's unlikely to be suitable for swimming over the summer months, and council are encouraging people to stay away.
"We had been doing regular testing over the last few years, and it's come back on red alert levels everytime, so now we just test over the busy summer periods," he said.
"But while ever we have this hot, dry weather the bloom isn't likely to go away."
Council in conjunction with the NSW Department of Primary Industry's algal coordination committee have followed a former Maclean Shire Council management plan, but say there is little that intervention can do.
"One of the options that came out of the plan was rediverting some of the stormwater from Spooky Gully which has been done," he said.
"But we've had the fire brigade also pumping salt water in there and a pump to aerate the water but it hasn't solved the problem.
"One of the other options could be in the future to cut a trench running from the ocean into the pools, but there is no certainty this will solve the water quality problem and it also takes away from the natural amenity of them."
Mr Wright said Council had resolved to monitor the levels and release information as it became available.
"This test has come back with an exceptionally high level of a particularly toxic blue-green algae, so that's why we ramped up the awareness of it," he said.
"We've got the sign at the top of the walkway, but we've put up temporary signs down the bottom in the past, and more have been erected this week but we've had trouble with people removing because they believe it hurts the tourist trade in the area - so that's an ongoing issue as well."
"Unfortunately for us, with the nature of blue-green algae in this stagnant water the bloom will potentially be there for the full summer."