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Increased risk from toxic algae at Silverstream

Increased risk from toxic algae at Silverstream

Together with Greater Wellington Regional Council and Regional Public Health and Upper Hutt City Council we’re urging you to protect yourself and your dogs from toxic algae, with an increase in algal growth detected in the Hutt River at Silverstream this week.

“Although the cover of toxic algae is still low in the river, mats are starting to wash up onto the banks increasing the risk of dogs or humans coming into contact with them” says Regional Council Senior Environmental Scientist Summer Greenfield.

Warning signs have been put up at key access points to this part of the river. River users should be on the look-out for toxic algal mats in this area and avoid any contact with them. Dogs should be kept on a lead or kept away from the riverside.

The risk from toxic algae at other sites monitored in the Hutt River remains low.

Toxic algae or cyanobacteria can kill dogs and make people sick and has been a problem in the Hutt River and other rivers around the country in recent years. You can spot toxic algae by looking out for brown or black clumps of algae covering rocks in the river or washed up at the river’s edge.

The algae grows faster when the weather is warm, river flows are low and stable, and there’s a lack of heavy rainfall.

If a dog eats toxic algae, it can die very quickly. If you think your dog has eaten toxic algae, take it to a vet immediately.

In humans, contact with toxic algae can cause rashes, skin and eye irritation, allergic reactions and gastric upsets. If you think you’re having a reaction to toxic algae, contact your GP.

ends

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