Bloom warn­ing for lake

Rotorua Review - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - SUP­PLIED

A health warn­ing has been is­sued for Otautu Bay, at Lake Ro­toehu, be­cause of the pres­ence of al­gal blooms that are likely to be caused by blue-green al­gae.

Sam­pling has been un­der­taken to con­firm if the blooms are be­ing caused by the po­ten­tially toxic blue­green al­gae.

‘‘The health warn­ing means that peo­ple should avoid any ac­tiv­ity which re­sults in sig­nif­i­cant con­tact with the lake wa­ter in Otautu Bay,’’ said Dr Neil de Wet, Med­i­cal Of­fi­cer of Health.

Con­tact with wa­ter af­fected by blooms of blue-green al­gae can cause asthma and hayfever at­tacks in some in­di­vid­u­als as well as skin rashes, stom­ach up­sets, and in some cases neu­ro­log­i­cal ef­fects such as tin­gling around the mouth, headaches, breath­ing dif­fi­cul­ties and vis­ual prob­lems.

Sig­nage will be erected at Otautu Bay ad­vis­ing po­ten­tial lake users about the al­gal bloom.

Other parts of Lake Ro­toehu do not ap­pear to be sig­nif­i­cantly af­fected at this stage.

How­ever, changes in wind di­rec­tion and lake con­di­tions can rapidly change where blooms oc­cur and so it is al­ways best to check the wa­ter be­fore any con­tact with it. If a vis­i­ble al­gal bloom is present, or the wa­ter looks dis­coloured,it is best avoided.

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