Blue-green algae are microscopic organisms that can produce toxins that are harmful to humans and animals. Blooms of blue-green algae can occur in sewage lagoons because lagoons contain an abundance of nutrients on which the algae feed.
Lagoon operators must be mindful of their role in minimising public and environmental health risks from the release of blue-green algae toxins into the environment via sewage lagoon effluent.
The Guidelines for Managing Blue-Green Algae (Cyanobacteria) in Sewage Lagoons March 2011 provide guidance on how to monitor and manage blue-green algae blooms. They also specify alert levels that indicate when the effluent is considered to have become unsuitable for discharge.
Blue-Green Algae Management Guidelines 2011 (5Mb)