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Toxic algae found in Waituna lagoon

Toxic algae found in Waituna lagoon

Monitoring carried out by Environment Southland on 22 March, has shown high levels of the toxic algae planktonic cyanobacteria at Waituna Lagoon in Southland.

Planktonic cyanobacteria (floating or suspended algae) is different to that found in rivers during warmer months, but still produces toxins that can be harmful to people and animals if swallowed, or through contact with skin.

People and animals (in particular, dogs), should avoid contact with the lagoon, or be mindful of the potential health risks, until health warnings are removed.

Cyanobacteria occur naturally but can increase rapidly during periods of warm weather.

If you experience health symptoms after contact with contaminated water, visit a doctor immediately. Animals that consume cyanobacteria should be taken to a vet immediately.

Environment Southland monitors cyanobacteria monthly at a number of river and lake sites across Southland, and the public will be advised of any changes in water quality that are of public health significance.

For further information, visit Environment Southland’s website www.es.govt.nz.

ENDS


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