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Toxic algae in section of Maitai River

Toxic algae in section of Maitai River

11 March 2014

People are urged to avoid allowing their children to play in or their dogs to swim in the Avon Terrace section of the Maitai River, between Bridge Street and Nile Street, due to increased levels of cyanobateria (also known as blue-green algae).

This is the only area of the Maitai River that has exceeded safe levels of cyanobacteria and bathing holes upstream are not currently affected.

This naturally occurring algae is present in rivers during this time of year but can bloom to dangerous levels if the conditions are right with warm temperatures and low river flows.

Cyanobacteria produces the neurotoxin anatoxin, which is potentially lethal to dogs, stock and humans when ingested in large amounts. Dogs that are known to eat the algae are most at risk.

Dog owners are advised to keep their dogs on a lead in this section of the Maitai and to use the permitted area at Tahunanui Beach to swim their pets.

ENDS

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