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Routine Algal Water Monitoring starts across BoP

MEDIA RELEASE 18 November 2008


Routine Algal Water Monitoring starts across the Bay of Plenty.

Monitoring started last week across the Bay of Plenty for signs on the potentially toxic algal blooms which can affect our lakes and rivers.

Environment Bay of Plenty checks weekly for signs of the blue-green algae (the micro-organism that causes the bloom) in the main Lakes. The initial results are showing some signs of algal growth in Lake Rotorua and Lake Rotoehu.

Science staff have also begun sampling some of the region’s rivers for blue-green algae mats. While algal mats have been observed in the Whakatane and Waimana rivers, they are for the moment still present at low levels.

Environment Bay of Plenty and Toi Te Ora – Public Health will be monitoring throughout the summer and if significant blooms are found there will be specific warnings issued.

As we have many recreational waters in the area, the sampling points are limited. Blooms can also occur quite quickly in the right conditions, so it is always safest to check the water before you get in.

Dr Jim Miller, Medical Officer of Health says “Look before you leap; if the water looks discoloured, smells unusual, or if there is scum on the surface of lakes or on the beds of rivers, swim or play somewhere else. The Bay of Plenty is a big place with lots of opportunities for using the water. If you have concerns about possible blooms let Environment Bay of Plenty or your local Council know.

Direct exposure to the algae can cause skin rashes and stomach upsets. Hayfever and asthma may also be worsened.

For more information refer to the link below or see contact details.

http://www.envbop.govt.nz/Water/Water.asp


ENDS

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