Toxic al­gae warning in Tas­man

Nelson Mail - - News - Skara Bohny

Toxic al­gal blooms have reached dan­ger­ous lev­els in Tas­man dis­trict rivers.

Tas­man Dis­trict Coun­cil (TDC) has is­sued a warning that lev­els of toxic al­gae in the lower Wai-iti and Waimea rivers are ‘‘a se­ri­ous risk to dogs and any per­sons’’ who con­sume it.

‘‘All dog own­ers and par­ents with tod­dlers should be­come fa­mil­iar with what the toxic al­gae looks and feels like. It is usu­ally only toxic if con­sumed by mouth.’’

The coun­cil ad­vises keep­ing dogs on leads if al­gae is seen, and not al­low­ing dogs to drink from, play in, or scav­enge in or near the wa­ter.

‘‘If you, your dog or other an­i­mals are sick af­ter be­ing in or near an af­fected river, con­sult your vet and the coun­cil im­me­di­ately.’’

Toxic al­gae of­ten forms dark, slimy mats in rivers and on rocks.

Peo­ple want­ing to cool off with a swim are in luck, though – the coun­cil said pop­u­lar swim­ming sites on the Lee and Rod­ing rivers were not af­fected.

The toxic blooms happen dur­ing ex­tended pe­ri­ods of low wa­ter lev­els in the rivers. The warning will be in place un­til sig­nif­i­cant rain­fall can flush the al­gae out.

Any­one who sees toxic al­gae in a river in the dis­trict is asked to re­port it to the coun­cil.

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