The Shire of Collie has been undertaking water quality sampling of the water in the Black Diamond void as a result of high use, illegal camping, low rainfall and community complaints.
The organism Amoeba Naegleria was detected in this water body during sampling. Naegleria flowleri, a species of the Nagleria Amoeba, causes the fatal disease Amoebic Meningitis. It should be noted that Naegleria flowleri has not be detected at Black Diamond at this time and testing so far has failed to detect this organism.
It is, however, important to note that slightly altered environmental conditions may give rise to the growth or increase in ‘fowleri’. When the water temperature in this lake exceeds 24 degrees Celcius the water may contain the amoeba responsible for Amoebic Meningitis.
Therefore, during periods of anticipated high temperatures, all contact with the water body at Black Diamond should be avoided.
No solution to reduce the risk is known other than to avoid contact with the water. Amoebic Meningitis occurs if water containing amoeba is forced up the nose, and cannot occur from cuts or scratches of from swallowing water. While entering the water is discouraged, it is necessary for anyone entering the water to be aware of the potential danger that entering the water may present.
If entering the water the following precautions are recommended:
- Keep your head above water
- Do not jump or dive into the water
- If swimming avoid swimming under the water
While the Shire of Collie does not own or manage the land at Black Diamond, the Shire is working with the Department of Health and Department of Lands to address this issue. Regular patrols are being conducted, signage has been installed to warn of the risk, and all adjoining landowners are being notified in writing.
Water temperatures are also being monitored. Laboratory monitoring of the waters at Black Diamond is continuing, and further information will be available as monitoring results are confirmed.
For more information contact the Department of Health on 9388 4999.