PEOPLE are being warned to avoid contact with algae that has formed in the Mindarie Marina.
Residents reported a discolouration of the water a week ago and Mindarie Marina posted on its Facebook on December 13 that it was due to coral spawning.
However, samples taken by the Department of Water today and sent to the Department of Health revealed it was red tide algae, which can cause a red or brown discolouration and surface scum in the water.
Environmental health director Jim Dodd said it was capable of producing a harmful algal toxin and contact could cause skin irritation, possibly leading to severe dermatitis, and ingestion of affected water may cause severe illness and liver damage.
“Recreational activities such as swimming, wading, kayaking, fishing and crabbing in these waters should be avoided, particularly where algal scum or discolouration is visible,” he said.
“Pets should also be kept away from the water during the bloom.
“As a general rule people should avoid swimming in water that looks discoloured, murky, smells unpleasant, or has algal scum on the surface.”
The department advised anyone who came in contact with algal scum to rinse it off with clean water and seek medical attention if they felt unwell.
Marina director of operations David Bornmann said swimming was not permitted in the marina but it had put up additional signage warning people to avoid contact with the water.
He said staff had contacted stand-up paddleboard and flyboarding operators as they would not be allowed to run while the water was affected and future actions would be guided by directives from the department.