RED ALERT: Lake Ainsworth is closed to swimming due to a blue-green algae outbreak.
RED ALERT: Lake Ainsworth is closed to swimming due to a blue-green algae outbreak.

Lake closed to swimming

LENNOX Head’s Lake Ainsworth is once again closed to swimming at the height of summer due to an outbreak of blue-green algae.

Ballina Shire Council issued the red alert for the lake late Thursday afternoon.

The lake had been at amber alert for several weeks, with staff monitoring the lake.

The council announced laboratory testing has proven the blue-green algae scum in the south-eastern corner of the popular swimming spot is toxic.

“Current advice is to avoid swimming at this time to avoid contact with slicks and scums present on the shore,” the council announced on its Facebook page.

“Warning signs will be erected advising people not to swim in the lake, or touch slicks or scums that wash onto the shores.

“Users should always obey all signage erected by council.

“Council will increase the frequency of blue-green algae sampling and will continue to monitor the situation.”

This is not the first time the lake has been closed to swimming due to blue-green algal blooms.

The current red alert comes within weeks of the completion of most of the work on the new parkland along the route of the former eastern road at the lake.

The closure of the road was a divisive issue in Lennox Head over a long period.

One of the reasons cited over the years for the closure of the road was to improve the health of the freshwater lake.

An aerator in the lake operated 12 hours a day — 8am to 6pm — from October through to May in a bid to prevent algal blooms.

Check Ballina Shire Council’s website for updates on the status of the lake.


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