AGL Macquarie confirms that Lake Liddell remains closed until further notice following detection of Naegleria fowleri.
Naegleria fowleri is an amoeba that lives predominantly in warm fresh waterways and is quite common in northern parts of Australia. It is naturally occurring and has not been introduced to the environment by AGL’s activities.
Hunter New England Health has advised that “laboratory results should be treated as an incidental finding and not an indication of increased health risk. The laboratory testing for N. Fowleri is not useful in predicting risk or as a basis for closing a recreational lake.”
Even though the chances of human infection are assessed as extremely low, since most infections from the amoeba are fatal AGL has determined that as a precaution it would keep the lake closed until further tests can be conducted.
There is no risk of infection from the amoeba by consuming fish caught in the water, or through drinking or touching the water.
Visitors to the recreation park near Lake Liddell were notified early this morning, and AGL will reimburse the operator for any refunds as a result.
AGL has notified all relevant authorities.
AGL is currently seeking further advice from an expert Health-Risk Assessor for the ongoing and longer-term management of the lake.
People who have any health concerns should contact their General Practitioner in the first instance.
AGL is one of Australia’s leading integrated energy companies. It is taking action to responsibly reduce its greenhouse gas emissions while providing secure and affordable energy to its customers. Drawing on over 175 years of experience, AGL serves its customers throughout eastern Australia with meeting their energy requirements, including gas, electricity, solar PV and related products and services. AGL has a diverse power generation portfolio including base, peaking and intermediate generation plants, spread across traditional thermal generation as well as renewable sources including hydro, wind, solar, landfill gas and biomass.