Recreational Waters

South Australians are lucky to have access to wonderful beaches, lakes and rivers. These resources provide for safe and enjoyable recreational activities. However, in some locations physical features can create hazards and at times water quality can be of concern.

By far the greatest risks associated with beaches, lakes and rivers are drowning or injury caused by inappropriate activities (such as diving into shallow water). Sadly, these incidents occur every year.

Advice on water safety for beaches, rivers and lakes is provided on the following website:

In general, water quality at South Australian beaches and recreational lakes is suitable for recreational activities. However, there are some events that can cause short-term problems including stormwater flows and blue green algae.

Blue-Green Algae

Blue green algal blooms (cyanobacteria) occur in fresh water and marine water. Blooms represent high concentrations of organisms that appear as coloured surface films or scums.

In freshwater the blooms are normally blue-green in colour. In marine water, the colours can range from blue-green through to yellow, orange and red-brown.

Contact with high numbers of blue-green algae can cause skin rashes or eye irritation in some people, while ingestion could cause stomach upsets or flu-like symptoms.

Avoid contact with coloured surface films or scums in fresh or marine water. Care should also be taken to prevent dogs coming into contact with algal blooms, as they can swallow very high concentrations of organisms from grooming their fur after contact.