Blue green algae alert for lower Werribee River

Melbourne Water is advising people to avoid contact with a stretch of the Werribee River south of the Princes Highway, following the detection of blue-green algae.

Melbourne Water has instigated weekly testing and will closely monitor the bloom until it has cleared.

Signs have been erected at public access locations close by as a precaution. The algae has been confirmed along the river near the Werribee Zoo.

Acting Manager, North West Regional Services Jesse Barrett, said there were many forms of blue-green algae and the species currently present could be harmful to animals or humans.

"It’s important that people avoid contact with the water and make sure that it does not come into contact with their skin or eyes," Mr Barrett said.

"Pet owners are advised to take similar precautions and keep their animals from entering the water or from drinking it."

Melbourne Water is working with Zoos Victoria to manage the algae bloom in line with Victorian Government guidelines and will continue to monitor the site.

Melbourne Water is also working with the Victorian Environmental Water Holder and Southern Rural Water in releasing water for the environment along the lower Werribee River to assist with algae dispersal.

Blue-green algae occurs naturally in waterways and forms blooms during hot weather, periods of drought or low flow, or where there is an accumulation of nutrients in waterways or water bodies.