Chifley Dam - Blue Green Algae

Current Alerts at Chifley Dam (as at January 2023)

Recreational Alert RED
Livestock Drinking Water Alert HIGH

Blue Green AlgaeNote: This is not an image of the current algae level at Chifley Dam.Blue-green algae (also known as cyanobacteria) are naturally occurring microscopic bacteria which are often found in Chifley Dam. In small numbers, blue-green algae are of minimal concern. However, under some conditions blue-green algae can form large colonies and turn the water bright green. These blooms decrease water quality and can pose a risk to human and livestock health. Some blue-green algae species can produce liver and neurotoxin as well as skin irritants. 

More information on blue-green algae is available at WaterNSW.

Recreational Alerts

WaterNSW issues three different recreational blue-green algae alert levels:


This alert level represents bloom conditions. The water looks green and the blue-green algae may be seen as clumps or scums (blooms). There may be a strong odour or musty smell.

These blooms should be considered toxic to both humans and animals. All contact with the water should be avoided. This means water should not be used for drinking, cooking, stock watering, or recreational purposes.


Blue-green algae may be multiplying. The water may have a green tinge with a musty taste or odour.

The water is generally suitable for recreational use, but individuals should use caution during recreational activities and avoid areas where the water appears to have a green tinge.


Potentially toxic blue-green algae are detected at low levels.

The blue-green algae do not pose a threat to recreational use.

Livestock Drinking Water Alert

A High Alert for livestock drinking water is imposed as required based on the amount of potentially toxic blue-green algae or the presence of visual scums. This alert is separate to the system of recreational alerts.

During High Alerts, stock owners should seek alternative supplies of livestock drinking water.

More Information

Chifley Dam Details