Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Algal Bloom Warnings: Lake Ellesmere, Whitecliffs Domain


25 January 2013

MEDIA RELEASE

Algal Bloom Results In Health Warnings At Lake Ellesmere And Whitecliffs Domain

The Community and Public Health division of the Canterbury District Health Board have issued health warnings after potentially toxic blue-green algae were found in the Selwyn River at the Whitecliffs Domain and in Lake Ellesmere / Te Waihora.

The algae can produce toxins harmful to people and animals.

Dr Alistair Humphrey, Canterbury medical officer of health, says that people should stay out of the water at both of these places until the health warnings have been lifted.

“Contact with the algae may cause skin rashes, nausea, stomach cramps, tingling and numbness around the mouth and fingertips,” Dr Humphrey says.

“If you experience any of these symptoms visit your doctor immediately and let your doctor know if you have potentially had contact with the algae.


“People should not drink water from the Selwyn River at the Whitecliffs Domain or Lake Ellesmere / Te Waihora at any time. Importantly, boiling water does not remove the toxins”.

He says that the algae are particularly dangerous for dogs.

“Dogs should be kept away from both places until the health warning has been lifted. Animals that show signs of illness after coming into contact with the water should be taken to a vet immediately”.

Environment Canterbury is monitoring the sites and the public will be advised of any changes in water quality.

Selwyn River Whitecliffs Domain
The potentially toxic blue-green algae (benthic cyanobacteria) has been found in the Selwyn River at the Whitecliffs Domain. The algae look like dark brown to black mats.

Reticulated town water supplies are currently safe but no one should drink the water from the river at any time.

Lake Ellesmere / Te Waihora
Increased concentrations of blue-green algae (planktonic cyanobacteria) have been found in Lake Ellesmere / Te Waihora.

The algal bloom is predominantly comprised of picocyanobacteria which have been found to produce toxins in studies around the world.

The mechanisms of toxicity are very diverse, ranging from rapid onset of nausea and diarrhoea, to gastroenteritis and other effects such as tingling and numbness around the mouth and fingertips, liver damage.

Fish and shellfish can concentrate toxins and their consumption should be avoided. If fish are eaten, remove the gut and liver and wash in clean water.

Anabaena and Nodularia are the usual cyanobacteria species found in Canterbury lake algal blooms that have led to health warnings in the past and these species are not currently being detected in lake samples.

Facts about cyanobacteria:

• Appears as dark brown/black mats attached to rocks along the riverbed.
• The algae occur naturally but can increase rapidly during warmer months.
• It often has a strong musty smell and algal toxin concentrations can vary over short periods with changing environmental conditions.
• Although high river levels will remove the algal bloom, detached mats can accumulate along the shore and increase the risk of exposure to toxins.
• If a health warning is in place avoid contact with the water.
• Although district or city councils may place warning signs, these may not be seen at the numerous river access points, hence the need for people/ dog-walkers to treat every low-flowing river cautiously.

For further information visit http://ecan.govt.nz/services/online-services/monitoring/swimming-water-quality/Pages/river-warnings.aspx
Or contact Community and Public Health on (03) 364 1777.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Two Dead, One Injured: Suspect Charged After Ashburton Shooting

Russell John Tully has appeared in Christchurch District Court. Tully has been remanded in custody on charges of murder of Peg Noble and Leigh Cleveland and attempted murder of Lindy Curtis.

The victim’s families and the victim have requested that their privacy be respected and will not be making a statement at this time.

Police have formed a picture of what has occurred yesterday and are appealing for further information and sightings .... More

 

Parliament Today:

John Key Press Conference: Ashburton Shootings, Judith Collins Inquiry

Prime Minister John Key has delayed the release of Nationals’ fiscal policy in light of this morning’s shooting at a Work and Income office in Ashburton... Key also answered questions about Judith Collins, and confirmed that independent inquiry will be held with regard to allegations made against Collins. More>>

ALSO:

Internet MANA: Georgina Beyer Rocks The Waka

“There is now, and always will be, a range of views about many issues within our movement and members are free to express them, but Georgina’s views on Kim Dotcom are not shared by the MANA Movement leadership or the vast majority of MANA members and supporters around the country” states MANA Candidate for Waiariki, Annette Sykes. More>>

ALSO:

IGIS Update: Inquiry Into Release Of NZSIS Information

The Inquiry would be conducted in private and individuals would appear before her separately over a period of more than a week. She does not intend to name those summoned to give evidence until her report is published. “I can confirm that all persons summoned will be required to appear under oath...” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On John Key’s ‘Blame It On Judith’ Strategy

Right now, Prime Minister John Key seems intent on limiting the scope of any inquiry into his government’s dealings with Cameron Slater. The declared aim is to make that inquiry solely about Judith Collins’ behavior with respect to the Serious Fraud Office. More>>

ALSO:

Maori Council Lawyers' Statement: Supreme Court Decision On Maori Water Rights

“…the Supreme Court refused to give Pouakani people what they asked for, but may have given them something much, much better instead… the Supreme Court has questioned whether the Crown owns the River at all.” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Debate, And The Collins Accusation

Debating is a peculiar discipline in that what you say is less important than how you’re saying it. Looking poised, being articulate and staying on topic generally wins the day – and on that score, Labour leader David Cunliffe won what turned out to be a bruising encounter with Prime Minister John Key last night on TVNZ. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Winston Peters' Latest Bout Of Immigrant Bashing

It is only one poll, but rather than cannibalising each other's vote, Colin Craig and Winston Peters do seem to be managing to find the room to co-exist... Few are questioning how Peters got to this happy place, and what it says about the mood of the electorate. More>>

ALSO:

More Immigration News: First People Trafficking Charges

The first people trafficking charges in New Zealand have been brought by Immigration New Zealand (INZ)... The defendants have been charged under the Crimes Act 1961 for arranging by deception the entry of 18 Indian nationals into New Zealand. More>>

Collins 'Misinterprets Media Reports': "Too Compromised To Remain Justice Minister"

Bizarre claims by Judith Collins this morning that she had been cleared of inappropriate behaviour by the Privacy Commissioner demonstrates she is too compromised to remain Justice Minister, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news