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


Potentially toxic algae found in the upper Tomahawk lagoon

March 27, 2014

Potentially toxic algae found in the upper Tomahawk lagoon

The latest weekly samples from Tomahawk Lagoon have shown high levels of the potentially toxic cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) in the upper lagoon.

The cyanobacteria can produce toxins which may cause illness, such as skin reactions, in people and animals.

Otago Regional Council director of engineering, hazards, and science Gavin Palmer said algae had been present throughout the summer, mostly at low levels. It was not possible to predict how long it would take to recede again.

“We are urging parents to keep their children out of the water and dog owners to do the same with their pets,” Dr Palmer said.

The presence of extensive algal blooms or cyanobacteria is linked to many factors, including high nutrient concentrations in the water and lake bed. Nutrients in the lake bed are released when strong winds stir up the sediment.

Dr Palmer said warning signs the council put up at the outlet of the lower lagoon had remained in place since the algae was recorded at high levels there in February.

Additional warning signs were now being installed adjacent to the upper lagoon. All warning signs would remain in place until monitoring showed the algal bloom had reduced and weekly samples were consistently below levels posing any threat to health.

Dr Palmer said ORC staff would continue to monitor the situation and update the public with developments.

Dr Palmer and ORC scientists have met Tomahawk community representatives to discuss the issue. A background paper will be prepared for the council’s consideration and following this, a public meeting will be organised to brief the community.

In the meantime, anyone wishing to join an ORC email list and receive the sampling weekly results should phone ORC customer services on 474 0827.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines



Relevant Consents Gained: Government Unveils RMA Reform Package

The government has formally hauled down the flag on its attempts to alter the balance of environmental and economic priorities in the Resource Management Act, unveiling a 180-page Resource Legislation Amendment Bill containing reforms that have been largely endorsed by most political parties. More>>


Closing Schools And Such: Interim Redcliffs Decision Announced

“While the school’s board has argued that circumstances that could give rise to potential disruption are extremely unlikely, advice from technical experts has shown these concerns cannot be ruled out." More>>


Jane Kelsey: High Court Can’t Make Groser Provide TPPA Information Faster

‘This week we went back to court to challenge Trade Minister Groser’s stalling tactics over the release of information on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement negotiations, following a High Court order that he reconsider the Official Information Act request I made last January’, said University of Auckland law professor Jane Kelsey, first applicant in the case. More>>

Werewolf 58: No Climate For Change

The last time the global community tried to take collective action on climate change the world’s leaders finally came to agree that every not-too-onerous effort should be made to hold global warming to 2°C above the pre-industrial average. At Paris, all 150 participant countries nations will have put forward their pledges... On the information available, New Zealand's is the second weakest contribution of any nation in the developed world. More>>


Lambton Quay Shutdown: Object Was Made To Look Like Bomb

Police cordoned off part of Lambton Quay Wednesday afternoon, saying that a suspicious package had been found. Buildings were evacuated and buses were detoured. The army’s explosive ordnance disposal unit was brought to the Quay. More>>


Public Sector Still Shrinking: Record Low Number Of 'Backroom Bureaucrats'

Ongoing restraint in the public sector and a focus on better frontline services has seen a further reduction in the number of core Government employees, State Services Minister Paula Bennett says. More>>


Disobeying The Law: Police Censorship Of Crime Research “An Outrage”

The Green Party is calling on Police Minister Michael Woodhouse to ensure Police scrap controversial contracts that place onerous restrictions on academic researchers’ access to Police data, the Green Party says. More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news