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Suspected algal bloom problem at Quarry Lake

January 12, 2005

Suspected algal bloom problem at Quarry Lake

North Shore City Council is advising people not to use the Quarry Lake next to Lake Pupuke because of a suspected algal bloom problem.

Public health warning signs have been erected around the lake area after the council's pollution prevention officers were notified of a water discolouration.

The cause is thought to be the New Zealand variety of blue-green algae, which can be toxic to humans, says the council's environmental programmes co-ordinator, Trish Kirkland-Smith.

Water tests are being carried out to confirm the type of algae, and the signs will remain in place until the water quality is shown to be within health guidelines.

Algal blooms are a naturally occurring event that can be triggered by short bursts of warm weather, but are also affected by other factors such as the amount of nutrients in the water.

There is no way to prevent or stop algal blooms. Last year there was a similar problem at the lake, which lasted for approximately four months.

"There is no sign that the bloom has affected Lake Pupuke," says Ms Kirkland-Smith. Testing shows it to be currently safe to use.

Samples from recreational water areas are taken weekly over summer as part of a programme involving the local and regional councils and public health service.

People should contact North Shore City Council on 486 8600 for general information on bathing water quality, and any health concerns.

0800SAFESWIM (0800 723 379) has information on bathing water quality for Auckland City, North Shore City and Rodney District beaches. Test results and advice can also be found on the North Shore City website at www.northshorecity.govt.nz.

ENDS

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