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Lake Tutira Algal Bloom Warning Lifted

23 May 2008

Lake Tutira Algal Bloom Warning Lifted

Hawke’s Bay District Health Board’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr Richard Hoskins, has lifted the warning for people not to swim or pursue any recreational activities in Lake Tutira because of the presence of a cyanobacteria algal bloom.

Dr Hoskins says recent sampling by the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council has shown that the cyanobacteria bloom is no longer present. The warning was originally placed on 13 February.

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council will continue to monitor the condition of Lake Tutira during the winter months.

People who visit or use the lake regularly are asked to notify the Regional Council on 0800 108 838 if they become aware of any changes in the lake conditions, e.g. smell and/or change in the colour of the water.

ENDS


WHAT ARE CYANOBACTERIA?
Cyanobacteria are an ancient group of organisms with characteristics in common with both bacteria and algae. In certain environmental and hydrological conditions, free-floating cyanobacteria cells can multiply and form what are known as algal blooms. Cyanobacteria can also grow in bottom substrates forming mats, which can sometimes detach and float to the surface. Some cyanobacteria species produce toxins (cyanotoxins) which pose a risk to humans and animals when consumed in drinking water or by direct contact during recreational activities.


COULD THE BLOOM RECUR?
Yes it could recur – blooms regularly occur in Lake Tutira in warmer weather. However as the weather has cooled, the conditions will be unfavourable for bloom formation.

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