A health warning has been issued for Otautu Bay of 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 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 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. 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.
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 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
Email alerts for subscribers: www.ttophs.govt.nz/alert