Health Warning Lifted for the Kahutara River Near State Highway 1, Pekata
The Community and Public Health division of the Canterbury District Health Board has lifted its algal bloom health warning issued along the Kahutara River near State Highway 1, Peketa. This was issued on 31 January 2018.
Recent cyanobacteria surveying of the water in the Kahutara River has shown the quantity of potentially toxic blue-green algae (benthic cyanobacteria) in the river has decreased and coverage is now below the levels that are of concern to public health.
Canterbury Medical Officer of Health Dr Alistair Humphrey says that Environment Canterbury’s surveying of the Kahutara River will continue to the end of this summer and will then resume next summer, when there is increased likelihood of cyanobacteria growth.
Facts about cyanobateria:
• 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 https://www.ecan.govt.nz/your-region/your-environment/water/swimming-water-quality/
Or contact Community and Public Health on (03) 364 1777.
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