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Large Amount Of Blue/Green Algae At Popular Swimming Spot


Horizons Regional Council

Friday 20 January, 2012

Large Amount Of Blue/Green Algae Present At Popular Swimming Spot

Horizons Regional Council is advising people to take care at the popular swimming spot, Horseshoe Bend near Tokomaru, this weekend as council monitoring shows that there is currently a large amount of blue/green algae present in the river.

Toxins produced by the algae, also known as cyanobacteria, can be harmful to people and animals. Dogs and young children are particularly susceptible.

Horizons water quality spokesperson Barry Gilliland says it is not yet known whether this particular strain of cyanobacteria is toxic, however with over 50% algae coverage in the area, it’s best to avoid using the river for the time being.

“The slimy, black algae can bloom very quickly in warmer weather and will appear as a shiny black mat on the rocks. Signs will be going up this evening to warn river users,” Mr Gilliland said.

“The algae levels are likely to go down after the next high flow event in the river. Horizons monitors this site each week and so we will be keeping an eye on the algae levels.

“If you are concerned your dog may have eaten the algae it is recommended you contact your veterinarian immediately,” he said.

Blue/green algae is present in most of the Region’s rivers all year round and in favourable conditions such as during periods of warm water temperature and low flow, grows quickly so that it becomes a health risk at some sites.

For more information about cyanobacteria please visit Horizons website www.horizons.govt.nz.


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