IF YOU'RE planning on setting up camp and ringing in the New Year at popular holiday haunt Chaffey Dam, you need to be aware of a standing red alert for blue-green algae.
Water NSW issued the red alert - the highest level - on December 15, and a spokesman confirmed it won't change before the new year.
The kind of blue-green algae that was detected in Tamworth's main dam can be toxic, meaning dam-goers have been advised to think twice before taking a dip or gulping down the water.
But, that doesn't mean locals can't enjoy the closest thing Tamworth has to a beach.
"There is no cause for alarm, but people should err on the side of caution," the Water NSW spokesman told the Leader.
"The red alert is issued so that people can make an informed decision about recreational activities in relation to that body of water."
He said the exact spots where algae might be causing trouble within the huge dam is unknown, and that's why the alert covers the whole area.
Water NSW warned visitors not to eat fish, mussels or crayfish caught from red level warning areas, and reminded people boiling the water does not make it safe to drink.
The Water NSW spokesman said blue-green algae can potentially cause health problems like gastro.
Chaffey Dam has remained open to the public since the alert was issued, and visitors are still welcome.
The supply is usually the main source of Tamworth's water, but Tamworth Regional Council has not ordered town water from the dam in months.
Chaffey Dam's level surged past 40 per cent full on Christmas Day, after a present was delivered from the skies above and rain drenched the catchment in December.
An influx of the precious resource has brought hope the alert may be lifted soon, but the dam needs to pass two separate tests before the alert can be watered down.