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Health Warning Issued for Lake Okaro

MEDIA RELEASE 21 November 2008


Health Warning Issued for Lake Okaro

Residents are advised not to use Lake Okaro for recreational purposes following a health warning issued by the Medical Officer of Health.

Water samples taken from the lake, south of Rotorua, confirm the presence of blue-green algae at levels that may result in adverse health effects.

“If people are exposed to water with these levels of algae they may experience skin rashes, an upset tummy and hay fever and asthma may be worsened,” says Dr Jim Miller, Medical Officer of Health. “If the water looks discoloured, smells unusual or if there is scum on the surface of the water – swim and play somewhere else, there are lots of other great lakes to enjoy.”

Lake Okaro, near Rainbow Mountain approximately twenty kilometres to the south of Rotorua, is prone to blooms, some of which persist for several months.

Environment Bay of Plenty checks weekly for signs of the blue-green algae (the micro-organism that causes the bloom) in the main Lakes over summer and people will be advised of any changes in water quality that are of public health significance.

Rotorua District Council will be erecting signs at Lake Okaro advising potential lake users of the algal bloom.

The status of water quality throughout the area covered by Environment Bay of Plenty can be checked at www.envbop.govt.nz

For more information refer to the link below or see contact details.

http://www.envbop.govt.nz/Water/Water.asp


ENDS

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