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How can I avoid a blue-green or general algal outbreak on my block?

Cyanobacteria, better known as blue-green algae, is a bacteria than can be harmful to humans and animals. While it occurs naturally, it can be inadvertently encouraged to bloom when nutrients like phosphorous are introduced to waterways by humans.  Many popular cleaning products use phosphorous in their formulations.
To avoid algal bloom outbreaks, limit the amount of nutrient run-off from your property entering waterways. Avoid excessive use of farm fertilisers and maintain good farm vegetation to act as a natural nutrient run-off buffer. If you don't have good lifestyle block vegetation areas, move any livestock further away from waterways.

Other things you can do to reduce the risk of algal bloom outbreaks include:
  • Minimise the amount of time soil remains exposed to wind and water. Don’t work soil too much, or work it too far ahead of planting
  • Practice minimum soil cultivation techniques to maintain soil structure
  • Avoid cultivating very steep slopes of soil where limiting runoff will be difficult
  • Use green manure crops and work them into the soil regularly
  • Use crops that cover the soil where you can.  This helps prevent soil erosion
  • Use buffer strips of dense vegetation in steep locations to catch runoff
  • Use surface drains or diversion banks alongside dams and rivers
  • Leave natural drainage areas on your lifestyle block grassed.  This helps with drainage, and reduces the amount of runoff as water is absorbed into the soil
  • Build culverts and bridges or hard crossings for stock, and vehicle crossings
  • Maintain quality of stream banks with solid grass cover, trees, shrubby plants and native grasses
  • Keep livestock away from streams and waterways by using traditional or electric fencing. Livestock may get sick if they consume algal water.  They may also spread algal water across your property, causing further blooms
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