March 1, 2024

The Corangamite Catchment Management Authority has temporarily closed the Barwon River in Geelong following a blue-green algae outbreak.

The Barwon River is closed with warning signs placed along affected stretches of waterway to notify the public.

A combination of hot weather, low water flows and high nutrient levels in the Barwon River have contributed to the outbreak. Testing on 28/2 has shown that high levels of toxic blue green algae have been found in two sampling locations.

During algal outbreaks, people and their pets should avoid contact with the water. It is strongly advised that users of the river do not come into physical contact with the water, due to the potential health risk posed by blue green algae.

Contact with blue-green algae can cause skin rashes, eye and ear infections, vomiting and diarrhoea, mouth ulcers, sore throat and asthma symptoms. 

Corangamite CMA advise that people should avoid eating shellfish or fish caught in contaminated water.

The Corangamite CMA will notify the public as soon as conditions change, and the river is safe to be reopened to the public. The safety of the public is the Authority’s number one priority.

Anyone experiencing a reaction should seek medical help.

Blue-green algae blooms can be seen with the naked eye across the water surface.

However blue-green algae toxins are colourless and odourless and can remain at dangerous levels in water even after the blooms have disappeared.

For information or to report a suspected blue-green algae outbreak, contact Corangamite CMA on 1800 002 262.

For more information on blue-green algae visit:


Contact Us

Colac Office

64 Dennis Street, Colac VIC 3250
PO Box 159, Colac, VIC 3250
Hours: 8:30am – 5pm, Monday to Friday

T: 1800 002 262

Geelong office

Hours: 8:30am – 5pm, Monday to Friday
All mail must be sent via our Colac office
PO Box 159, Colac, VIC 3250

T: 1800 002 262