Sea sawdust takes shine off Gold Coast waters

5 November 2012

Coastal waters throughout Australia’s Gold Coast have developed blooms of the marine cyanobacterium Trichodesmium.  In a statement the Gold Coast City Council has announced that:

Water quality testing by Gold Coast City Council has identified blue green algal blooms (Trichodesmium) in a number of coastal areas across the city.  Council has received calls about the bloom occurring at Coolangatta, Tallebudgera, Miami and Biggera Waters, most likely caused by a combination of warmer weather and calm conditions.  The blooms, most common between August and December, move with tides and wind so it is likely that most of our coastal waters can be affected. The bloom is not generally considered to be harmful to human health, however residents are advised to avoid affected areas as it can irritate the skin. If contact occurs, wash off with clean fresh water.

They also provide a handy fact sheet about Trichodesmium.

Across the pond to New Zealand where the Hawkes Bay City Council are considering using floating islands as a component of a NZ$6 million upgrade of their sewage works.

Chautauqua Lake (New York, USA) has featured in Droplets a couple of times during this past US summer.  As with Hawkes Bay, millions of dollars will be need to upgrade their sewage treatment facilities and the ratepayers will need to foot most of the bills (which is kind of logical considering where the sewage originates from in the first place).  A TMDL assessment is underway to assist with determining just how much the reductions need to be in order to reduce impacts on the lake.

In Skagit County, the algal warnings for Campbell and Pass lakes have been removed.  Latest samples for liver and neuro-toxins have shown that the levels have now dropped to negligible.

And, to close off, the last lakes with algal blooms in Rhode Island, New York, have been declared safe (wonder if that storm had anything to do with it?)

The Rhode Island Department of Health and the Department of Environmental Management announced Friday that ponds affected by cyanobacteria blooms are now safe.

Nineteeen bodies of water were affected by bacteria blooms this past summer: Mashapaug Pond and Roger Williams Park Ponds in Providence, J.L. Curran Reservoir and Blackamore Pond in Cranston; Melville Ponds, Sisson Pond, and St. Mary’s Pond in Portsmouth; Bailey Brook, Easton Pond North and Easton Pond South, Gardiner Pond, and Paradise Pond in Middletown, Almy Pond in Newport, Watson Pond in Little Compton, Scott Pond in Lincoln, Slack Reservoir in Smithfield and Johnston, Barber Pond in South Kingstown, and Pasquisset Pond in Charlestown.

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