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Lake Ellesmere/ Te Waihora Health Warning Blue-Green Algal Bloom

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Lake Ellesmere/ Te Waihora Health Warning Blue-Green Algal Bloom

Environment Canterbury (ECan) and Community and Public Health are warning people to avoid contact with Lake Ellesmere/Te Waihora, Banks Peninsula, due to algal bloom.

Lake water monitoring shows high levels of the toxin-forming algae Nodularia. "The levels of algae indicate that the lake is unsuitable for recreational use or drinking until further notice," said Dr Alistair Humphrey, Medical Officer of Health.

Drinking water containing these toxins can be fatal to stock, fish, birds and dogs.

People using the Little River Rail Trail for cycling or walking and nearby recreational areas are warned to avoid contact with the lake water.

Lake Ellesmere/Te Waihora is less frequently affected by blue-green algal blooms than the nearby, smaller Lake Forsyth/Te Wairewa.

Human reactions to blue-green algal blooms include allergic reactions, asthma, eye irritations, rashes and blistering around the mouth and nose and gastrointestinal disorders. Boaties and people fishing are advised to exercise caution.

Shellfish from around the lake could be harmful to health and should be avoided, Dr Humphrey said.

Selwyn District Council has been advised of the bloom and will be placing signs.

People should seek help from their GP if they have ingested lake water or become unwell

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