Algal blooms have resulted in a health warning has been issued for Otautu Bay of Lake Rotoehu today.
The bloom is likely to be caused by the potentially toxic blue-green algae. Sampling has been undertaken to confirm if the blooms are blue-green algae.
“The health warning means that people should avoid any activity which results in significant contact with the lake water in Otautu Bay,” says Medical Officer of Health, Dr Neil de Wet.
Contact with water affected by blooms of blue-green algae can cause asthma and hayfever attacks in some individuals. Contact with the blue-green algae can also cause skin rashes, stomach upsets, and in some cases neurological effects such as tingling around the mouth, headaches, breathing difficulties and visual problems.
Warning signs will be posted 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. 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, says Neil. If a visible algal bloom is present or the water looks discoloured or has a musty odour it is best to avoid any contact with the water.
Up-to-date information on this health warning and others for the Bay of Plenty and Lakes districts is available through these channels:
• Phone: 0800 221 555
• Website: www.ttophs.govt.nz/health_warnings
• Facebook: www.facebook.com/toiteora
• Twitter: www.twitter.com/toiteora
• Email alerts for subscribers: www.ttophs.govt.nz/alert