Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Rotorua lakes watched more closely for algae

Friday 10 December 2004

Rotorua lakes watched more closely for algae

Rotorua’s lakes are now being watched more closely for the onset of algal blooms.

Environment Bay of Plenty has stepped up its schedule for checking blue green algae levels in four lakes that hosted potentially harmful blooms last summer – and are likely to do the same again this year.

Since November, Lake Rotorua, Lake Rotoiti, Lake Rotoehu and Lake Okaro have been undergoing weekly, rather than monthly, sampling at nearly 20 different locations. Other lakes will be monitored if they show signs of deterioration.

Environmental scientist Matt Bloxham says the more intense monitoring will continue until blooms subside, probably around next winter.

Mr Bloxham says, for the first time, samples will be taken from the middle of two lakes instead of just at the lake edge. He hopes this will help gauge the gradual build-up of algae in Lake Rotorua and Lake Rotoiti and provide a “primary warning device” for the likelihood of blooms. It should give more consistent results, he says, because mid-lake samples are less affected by wind concentrated blooms, which can collect at the edge of a lake. Mid-lake samples also provide deeper cross-sections, with 15m tubes used for the task.

Blue-green algae are microscopic plants that occur naturally in most waterbodies. However, algae can multiply rapidly when the water has too many nutrients, like nitrogen and phosphorus. Under calm conditions, they can then form into surface blooms, which are sometimes toxic.

When Environment Bay of Plenty testing shows water has too many blue-green algae, the Medical Officer of Health will issue an official health warning advising people not to swim or come into contact with the water.

Mr Bloxham says conditions are becoming more favourable for blue-green algae activity and health warnings may need to be put in place soon. He urges people to keep checking the warning status for the lakes by visiting Environment Bay of Plenty’s blue-green algae health warning web map (www.envbop.govt.nz) or by calling Environment Bay of Plenty on 0800 ENV BOP (368 267) any time.

Health warnings are also publicised over the radio and with signs at the lake edge of affected bays. However, algal blooms can form over a matter of hours, so there are not always warning signs in place, Mr Bloxham points out. “So people need to assess the situation before entering the water even if there are no warnings in place.”

If the water looks milky green, has a surface layer, or has globules floating in it, “play it safe and go elsewhere”.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Epic Fails Of Kris Faafoi

Ever since Winston Peters first breathed life into this government in 2018, its own branding has been all about social justice and how we all need to be “kind” to each other. Somehow, Kris Faafoi must have missed the memo. His performance in the immigration portfolio (in particular) has neither been kind nor just, especially to the migrants whose skills New Zealand will need to get us through Covid, and grow the economy into the future... More>>

Covid-19 & Government: Government Green Lights Rapid Antigen Testing

Some of the country’s largest businesses have put in an order for 300,000 approved rapid antigen tests for their workforce, after working at pace with the Government on a new scheme unveiled by Associate Minister of Health and Research, Science and Innovation Ayesha Verrall... More>>



Government: Opportunity To Shape NZ’s First Emissions Reduction Plan
The Government is inviting New Zealanders to inform the country’s first Emissions Reduction Plan with the release of a consultation document containing a range of policy ideas to decrease the country’s emissions, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Climate Change Minister James Shaw announced today... More>>


Government: Books Show Resilient And Strong Economy
The end of year audited Crown accounts released today show the Government’s health led approach to the COVID-19 pandemic has protected New Zealand’s economy. “On almost every indicator the accounts show that the New Zealand economy has performed better than forecast... More>>

Healthcare: Health System Is Ready For Assisted-dying Law
The health system is ready for the implementation of the End of Life Choice Act when it takes effect next month, making assisted dying legal in New Zealand, Health Minister Andrew Little said today... More>>


Government: Mandatory Vaccination For Two Workforces

Large parts of two workforces critical to preventing the spread of COVID-19 will be required to be vaccinated, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Our education and health and disability workforces have done an incredible job throughout this pandemic to keep themselves and people safe,” Chris Hipkins said.... More>>

Green Party: Deeply Concerned Space Launches May Be Breaching Nuclear-free Laws

The Green Party is deeply concerned that space launches by Rocket Lab may be breaching nuclear-free laws, given our long-standing position as a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty... More>>

Children's Commissioner: Call For Mandatory Vaccination Of Children’s Workforce
The Children’s Commissioner and Assistant Māori Commissioner are calling for a plan for the mandatory vaccination of teachers and the entire children’s workforce in New Zealand... More>>




InfoPages News Channels