News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 


Health warning issued for Selwyn River

January 20, 2014

Health warning issued for Selwyn River at the Whitecliffs Domain

The Community and Public Health division of the Canterbury District Health Board have issued a health warning after potentially toxic blue-green algae (benthic cyanobacteria) was found in the Selwyn River at the Whitecliffs Domain.

People and animals, particularly dogs, should avoid the area of the Selwyn River at Whitecliffs Domain until the health warning has been lifted.

Dr Ramon Pink, Canterbury Medical Officer of Health, says the algae looks like dark brown to black mats and can produce toxins harmful to people and animals.

“Exposure may cause skin rashes, nausea, stomach cramps, tingling and numbness around the mouth and fingertips,” Dr Pink says.

“If you experience any of these symptoms, visit your doctor immediately, also let your doctor know if you’ve had contact with dark brown/black algal mats or water in this area.”

Reticulated town water supplies are currently safe but no one should drink the water from the river at any time.

“Even after boiling the water from the river, it does not remove the toxin therefore should not be consumed,” Dr Pink says.

Animals should be taken to a vet immediately if they are showing signs of illness after coming into contact with algal mats.

People and animals should remain out of the waterways until the warnings have been lifted.

Environment Canterbury is monitoring the sites and the public will be advised of any changes in water quality.

Facts about cyanobacteria:

• 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 or contact Community and Public Health on (03) 364 1777.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Cricket: Dramatic Win Puts Black Caps In Finals

In Parliament: When Parliament resumed at 2pm the House passed a motion on a voice vote admiring the performance of the New Zealand cricket team in last night’s World Cup semi-final and wishing them well for the final on the weekend. More>>

ALSO:

Moon Shot/Kills Switch: The X Factor Judges Removed

MediaWorks has today decided that Natalia Kills and Willie Moon are no longer suitable to judge The X Factor and have removed them from the show. MediaWorks CEO, Mark Weldon, said that last night on The X Factor both Kills and Moon made comments that were completely unacceptable. More>>

ALSO:

Tessa Nichol: Up Up & Away In The Wairarapa

It’s an overcast morning in the Wairarapa but the mood on the ground in Carterton’s Carrington Park is anything but grey. More than 20 hot air balloons are getting ready to take off into the cloudy sky to mark the start of this year’s Wairarapa Balloon Festival. More>>

Golden Shears: Scotsman Wins Golden Shears Open Final

A Scottish shearer who settled in New Zealand to farm in Taranaki has become the first shearer from overseas to win the Golden Shears Open Shearing Championship. More>>

ALSO:

Shipped On A Bottle: Young Change-Makers Take To The Sea On Plastic Bottle Kayaks

With the aim of harnessing innovative design to construct kayaks solely from recycled materials, the “waste positive” project Plastic Bottle Kayak brings adventure into Kiwi classrooms. The call is out now for classrooms to send in messages and artwork to be inserted into the bottles. More>>

TV3 Video: Auckland Arts Festival Kicks Off

The Auckland Arts Festival kicks off March 4, with artists from New Zealand and all over the world on show. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news