A prominent Lake Albert advocate is calling for an overhaul of the blue green algae testing process amid positive signs a groundbreaking new treatment is starting to work.
One month ago, a Wagga City Council-backed cutting-edge treatment known as Waterzyme was added to the waters of the lake as part of a trial.
Waterzyme contains enzymes that select and target cyanobacteria such as BGA, yet it is also natural and non-toxic.
Barely 10 days after its application, the council issued a red alert for harmful concentrations of blue green algae in the water body and put its use off limits.
But, this week it has been revealed the water test which led to the red alert was taken a matter of hours after Waterzyme was put in the water body.
In response to that alert, the council and health authorities warned the public the water body is considered to be unsuitable for water contact activities, such as swimming, bathing, sailing, skiing or other direct water-contact sports.
"There was a sample taken about 24 hours after we applied the product, and that was the first red alert recorded this season," a Waterzyme spokesperson said.
Roughly four weeks later, there are signs the treatment is starting to take effect.
A spokesperson said since then there has been a "reduction" in BGA and that it was "trending in the right direction".
Waterzyme founding director Michael Askew said the signs were looking promising.
"We've received some initial data over the last four weeks and indications are that the product has been performing well," Dr Askew said.
"We are very confident we will see some positive results over the coming days or week."
It comes as the council has detected more blue green algal blooms in the lake.
"Council continued sampling for blue green algae at Lake Albert on Wednesday after large blooms were sighted in the middle to northern end on the western side of Lake Albert as part of a weekly visual inspection," environment and regulatory services manager Mark Gardener said.
"The test results are expected to return early next week with a red alert level remaining in place until further notice.
"Council [continues to advise] ... the community against recreational water contact under NSW Health guidelines."
However, Wagga Sailing Club chair Garry Williams has raised concerns the testing process was not high enough on the council's agenda.
Mr Williams has taken issue with how frequent tests were being conducted and how long it was taking to get the results back.
According to the council's Lake Albert webpage, the latest lake sample with a returned result was taken on January 30.
The council has said a result for its most recent water sample - taken on Wednesday - would not be known until early next week.
Mr Williams said if testing was a higher priority, the lake might be able to reopen to the public more often, rather than be closed for extended periods during the summer months.
"It would be better for the lake to be open one week because [the tests are] clear, rather than have it closed all the time," he said.
Taking a visual glance of the lake on Friday, he said "the majority of the lake looks very good ... with one very small piece of algae that I've noticed".
"I feel that is [an] insufficient [amount] for the lake not to be utilised," Mr Williams said.
Noting that the council would not receive the results from Wednesday's sample until early next week, he said testing must be timed better, so that if a good result came back, the lake could reopen for the weekend.
However, Councillor Georgie Davies refuted suggestion the council was not prioritising the lake enough, pointing to the Waterzyme treatment being applied to the lake.
"It's definitely a high priority, because we've invested a lot of money into the Waterzyme product," Cr Davies said.
"It couldn't be a higher priority at the moment."
In the past, the council has used ultrasonic buoys to help combat algal blooms. However, it has since removed these.
"We recognise something needs to happen and we can't just let the lake sit there unused every single summer, which is extremely frustrating for people," Cr Davies said.
The councillor also stressed the importance of ensuring the lake was safe before it was reopened to the public.
"Safety has to come first," she said.
"It's a wait and see. I really hope the treatment reduces the visual algae blooms as soon as possible, and ideally we want the lake open before the end of summer.
"Otherwise, it would raise concerns about the success of the Waterzyme treatment."