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Lake Rotoehu bloom activity prompts health warning

Lake Rotoehu bloom activity prompts health warning

For immediate release: 23 December 2009

Environment Bay of Plenty monitoring of Rotorua’s lakes for cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) has resulted in health warnings for Lake Rotoehu and for the Rangitaiki River upstream from Lake Aniwhenua.

Cyanobacteria are capable of producing toxins that are harmful to humans and animals if swallowed or if exposed to skin, such as may occur when swimming, skiing or kayaking. Cyanobacteria bloom as a result of a combination of excess nutrients in the lakes and climatic factors.

Environmental Scientist Paul Scholes said that today’s Toi Te Ora - Public Health warning would remain in place until further notice; however all other Rotorua lakes currently remain safe for swimming.

“Our weekly monitoring shows that all of the other lakes we monitor for cyanobacteria are well under the safe threshold and there are currently no toxic algae levels that would warrant health warnings being put in place but with blue-green algae you just never know when it might flourish given the right climatic conditions,” Mr Scholes said.

He encourages people to look on Environment Bay of Plenty’s website for the latest water quality monitoring and lake health warnings: www.envbop.govt.nz keywords lake health warnings. Residents and visitors are also advised to look out for warning signs and check the latest Toi Te Ora – Public Health advisories on www.toiteorapublichealth.govt.nz.

Environment Bay of Plenty carries out weekly blue-green algae monitoring for lakes Rotorua, Rotoiti, Rotoehu, Okaro and the Kaituna River throughout summer.

ENDS

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