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

 

Canterbury Health Warning – Algal Bloom in Waiau River

February 17, 2012

Health Warning – Algal Bloom in Waiau River (main Waiau Bridge)

The Community and Public Health division of the Canterbury District Health Board have issued a health warning after potentially toxic algae (benthic cyanobacteria) were found in the Waiau River 50 meters upstream of the main Waiau Bridge.

Humans and animals, particularly dogs, should avoid the Waiau River in the vicinity of the main Waiau Bridge until the health warning has been lifted.

Canterbury Medical Officer of Health Dr Ramon Pink says the algae look like dark brown/ black mats and can produce toxins harmful to humans 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 and let your doctor know if you’ve had contact with algal mats or water in this area.

“No one should drink the water from the river at any time.”

Boiling the water from the river does not remove the toxin. However, reticulated town water supplies are currently safe.

Animals should be taken to a vet immediately if they come into contact with the contaminated rivers, Dr Pink says.

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.

All current warnings remain in place. For further information click here.

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

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 


Howard Davis: Estère At San Fran

Appearing at Wellington's San Fran to promote her new single, Calculated Risk, the local musician sutured together a highly impressive set of syncopated soul beats, weaving a brilliant dance cloth of iridescent splendour.More>>

Back On The Stairway To Heaven: Led Zeppelin Wins Over Spirit

In March, the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeal upheld an original jury finding that Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven did not infringe copyright in Spirit’s 1968 song Taurus. Michael Skidmore, who had filed the suit in 2014 as trustee of the ... More>>


Amazon Original: Borat Subsequent Moviefilm - Trailer And Launch Date

OFFICIAL TRAILER: “BORAT SUBSEQUENT MOVIEFILM: DELIVERY OF PRODIGIOUS BRIBE TO AMERICAN REGIME FOR MAKE BENEFIT ONCE GLORIOUS NATION OF KAZAKHSTAN” Film to Launch Globally on October 23rd Exclusively on Amazon Prime Video... More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 
 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland