TWO sporting clubs are having to make alternate arrangements for training and competitions after blue-green algae warnings were issued for Lake Canobolas and Gosling Creek Dam.
Orange Cycle and Triathlon Club were aware conditions were worsening at Gosling Creek where it expected to hold the Central West Inter-Club Triathlon series.
The club changed the competition to a duathlon run-ride-run event as a precaution.
Committee member Steve Martin said there was little else the club could do other than wait for rain to flush it out.
"It disappears when it's colder from what I understand, but it's a function of drought - there's not much we or council can do about it," he said.
"We had the same issue last year with the club championships having to do the same thing - until the last two years, we never had an issue."
The Pinnacle Dragon Boat Club is in a slightly tougher situation at Lake Canobolas.
Coach Pearl Butcher said with no other waterways in Orange to float a boat and several members competing at national championships in the coming weeks, they were considering travelling to Parkes and Forbes or training at Orange Aquatic Centre by paddling on the side of the pool to keep up their strength.
"The possibility of capsizing is minimal but you do get splashed and you have to walk in the water so if anyone has an abrasion or is splashed in the face or eyes, it's a problem," she said.
Orange City Council issued an alert on Tuesday, warning residents not to enter the water or swim at Lake Canobolas or Gosling Creek after blue-green algae was detected at both bodies of water.
The council conducted sampling and testing, revealing high levels of the naturally-occurring bacteria, which thrive off hot weather and still water.
A council spokeswoman said it was still unknown how long the algae would remain at high levels because it depended on nutrient levels, temperature, water turbidity and the amount of sunlight or cloud cover.
But she said the algae potentially contained toxins, which were harmful to humans and animals and even if the algae could not be seen, it did not mean the water was safe.
Those who come into contact with contaminated water can experience skin rashes, itchiness, sore ears, eyes and throat, asthma, numbness of lips, nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea.
People with symptoms should seek medical attention immediately.
The council has advised visitors not to eat fish from affected areas and another alert would be issued when water conditions improved.
DO YOU WANT MORE ORANGE NEWS?
- Receive our free newsletters delivered to your inbox, as well as breaking news alerts. Sign up below ...