Monitoring starts for blue-green algae in Bay of Plenty lakes and rivers
As the summer temperatures begin to warm up our favourite swimming spots, monitoring has begun to help ensure safe recreational water use for all.
Monitoring has started across the Bay of Plenty for signs of the potentially toxic algal blooms which can affect our lakes and rivers. Direct exposure to the algae can cause skin rashes and stomach upsets. Hayfever and asthma may also be worsened.
Bay of Plenty Regional Council and Toi Te Ora – Public Health Service will be monitoring main lakes and rivers throughout the summer, taking weekly records for signs of the blue-green algae (the micro-organism that causes the bloom). If significant blooms are found there will be specific health warnings issued.
As we have many recreational waters in the area, the sampling points are limited. Blooms can also occur quite quickly in the right conditions, so it is always safest to check the water before you get in.
Dr Jim Miller, Medical Officer of Health says “Look before you leap; if the water looks discoloured, smells unusual, or if there is scum on the surface of lakes or on the beds of rivers, swim or play somewhere else. The Bay of Plenty is a big place with lots of opportunities for using the water. If you have concerns about possible blooms let Bay of Plenty Regional Council or your local Council know.”
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